Chicago Film Fest 2019: The Truth (La Verite)

The Truth (La Verite). Courtesy of IFC Films.

The Truth (La Verite) features some brilliant acting as director Hirokazu Kore-eda tackles a project that isn’t set in his home country of Japan.

The root of the film is the mother-daughter relationship between Fabienne (Catherine Deneuve) and Lumir (Juliette Binoche). Lumir’s relationship with her mom is tenuous at best.  The reason why she’s back in her native France is her mother’s memoir being published.  To say it’s a memoir would also be exaggerating the definition of the word, too.  Once Lumir gets to reading the book, she starts to find many places in which her mom stretches the truth more than a bit.

Lumir comes home with American husband Hank (Ethan Hawke) and daughter Charlotte (Clementine Grenier).  In addition to having written a book, Fabienne is also getting ready to shoot Memoirs of My Mother.  The film stars Manon (Manon Clavil) as an astronaut but also as a mother who decides to cheat death.  Meanwhile, personal assistant Luc (Alain Libolt) decides to quit, leaving Lumir to deal with the extra stress.

All stress aside, there is some humor in the film when Fabienne’s ex and Lumir’s dad, Pierre (Roger Van Hool), makes a visit.  Given that the turtle is also named Pierre, they take the humor all the way.

With the added layer of a film within a film, it’s very fascinating to watch the main narrative take place in The Truth (La Verite).  It adds onto the tenuous relationship between Lumir and her mom.  Meanwhile, Clementine Grenier is rather impressive for acting in her first film.  Knowing this also lends a different vibe to watching her scenes when she’s watching her grandmother on set.  It’s like a different way of attending acting school!

CAST:  Catherine Deneuve, Juliette Binoche, Ethan Hawke

The Truth (La Verite) screened during the 2019 Chicago International Film Festival. IFC Films will open the film in Spring 2020. Grade: 3/5

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.