The Truth (La Vérité)
Japanese director Kore-eda Hirokazu opens this year’s Venice Film Festival with his debut international work, La Vérité, a family drama which is essentially a truly French piece of cinema.
The film revolves around the life of iconic actress in decline Fabienne (Catherine Deneuve), who invites her daughter Lumir (Juliette Binoche) to Paris along with her husband (Ethan Hawke) and daughter to celebrate the publication of her memoirs. The reunion brings to light buried issues between mother and daughter, who disagree about the book’s recounting of their past, but Fabienne’s struggles with accepting a support role next to a young rising star of French cinema help the two to restore their relationship.
Hirokazu seeks and finds a beautiful balance between the uncontainable – yet subtle – irony of Deneuve, and the drama which resurfaces every time she is confronted by her own daughter or she has to face the passing of time on the set, next to Manon Clavel who delivers a wonderful debut performance.
The director conceived this film whilst writing a stage play, and it was Binoche who one day suggested they should work together. The result is a sweet and sour picture that, thanks to its smooth camerawork and wise use of a joyful score, creeps into the viewer’s emotions with grace.
The Truth is a feature driven by women and built on them, in the cast and in the story. Their past, present and future are depicted on many levels – at home, with mother/daughter/nephew, at work, with the contrast between generations, and also more generally in their existence, with memories of a dead actress who was part of their lives and who is still affecting them.
Despite the merits of the direction, screenplay and support cast, a superb Deneuve is undeniably the reason why this film should be watched.
Filippo L’Astorina, the Editor
The Truth (La Vérité) does not have a UK release date yet.
Read more reviews from our Venice Film Festival 2019 coverage here.
For further information about the event visit the Venice Film Festival website here.
Watch two clips for The Truth (La Vérité) here: