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VIFF favourite Kore-eda Hirokazu (Still Walking, After the Storm) is back with the top prizewinner at Cannes 2018. Also a smash hit in his native Japan, Shoplifters is a film about love and crime. When a little girl (Sasaki Miyu) is found alone in the cold by Osamu (Lily Franky) and his young companion Shota (Jyo Kairi), Osamu brings her home for a hot meal; when signs point to her being an abuse victim, he decides she should stay. And so she joins the Shibata family, which also includes wife Nobuyo (Ando Sakura), teenager Aki (Matsuoka Mayu) and "grandma" Hatsue (Kiki Kilin). To all appearances, they’re a caring and contented bunch, but they’re also very poor, and they have ways of getting by that "respectable" society frowns on—most notably, theft. Can their happiness last?
Kore-eda is a filmmaker of exquisite sensitivity, attuned to the small moments of significance that so many movies seem designed to make us forget about. One by one, he adds those moments, building ever so patiently to revelation and heartbreak. With its gestures of love, subtle visual grace, superb acting and rich human portraiture this is a very generous film—powerfully sad, but with a lot of beauty to take with you as you leave the theatre.
"A thrilling, beautiful tale… This is a film that steals in and snatches your heart."—Robbie Collin, Daily Telegraph
Palme d’Or, Cannes 18