The best Kore Eda film so far
- Shoplifters review by JR
Kore Eda delights in the outsider status of the family, and the way they metaphorically hold two fingers up to society, and he depicts their life with joy and humour.
Living in a tiny, overcrowded squalid house, the adults work in low-paid insecure jobs and thieve to make ends meet, but also as a way of life. The film has the feel of a Dickens novel, filled with fruity, larger than life characters, and cliches like 'loveable rogues' and 'tart with a hart' come to mind. And, like Dickens, Kore Eda has a tendancy towards sentimentality. Even these thieves have a moral code (its okay to steal as long as you don't put the shop out of business), and they rescue an abused and neglected 6 year old girl and give her the love and kindness she has never had.
All the acting is superb, including the children, and there are so many wonderful scenes such as the family's day at the beach, a tender scene between the wife and the rescued girl, the child's small feet twined around the legs of a chair is telling and moving.
Kore Eda based the film on a real case in Japan, but as the judicial system catches up with the family, the film becomes less engaging.
4 out of 4 members found this review helpful.
- Shoplifters review by AM
Koreeda's films are so often about the dynamics of family, friendship vs family, nurture vs nature and so it is here.
The set-up, about what appears to be a family at the very bottom of the social scale who take in an neglected child (it's not kidnapping if they don't issue a ransom) is only the beginning. Gradually the dichotomy pf their moral choices is revealed, and questions are raised. Unlike JR, I felt the final section of the film necessary to pull threads together, particularly as it is based on a true story. Not his best film for me (that is I Wish), but easily good enough.
3 out of 3 members found this review helpful.
Struggling to survive
- Shoplifters review by C
An unconventional, impoverished ‘family’ survive in whatever way they can. They may be breaking the law but they love and support each other as far as possible. The setting is claustrophobic and the eating habits are not pleasant to a Western ear but it is hard not to become engaged with these poor, struggling people.
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.