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!
DIRECTOR/SCREENWRITER: Hirokazu Kore-eda
CAST: Catherine Deneuve, Juliette Binoche, Ethan Hawke