The Truth film review: sparklingly witty

Ethan Hawke, Juliette Binoche, Catherine Deneuve and Clémentine Grenier in The Truth.
Ethan Hawke, Juliette Binoche, Catherine Deneuve and Clémentine Grenier in The Truth.

JAPANESE director Hirokazu Koreeda has followed his Palme d’Or winning 2018 film Shoplifters with a loving homage to French cinema.

Self-obsessed actress Fabienne Dangeville (Catherine Denevue) is a beloved figure in French cinema who has just published her memoir.

Her writer daughter Lumir (Juliette Binoche), American actor son-in-law Hank (Ethan Hawke) and granddaughter Charlotte (Clementine Grenier) arrive from New York to stay in her sprawling Parisian house.

The relationship between mother and daughter is a fractured one, especially when Lumir discovers the memoir has inconsistencies from how she remembers her childhood, as a child who always came second to her mother’s career.

Fabienne is starring in a science fiction movie about a relationship between a mother and daughter and The Truth takes great pleasure in playing around with this meta idea of a film within a film.

When the characters discuss actors and filmmaking, you cannot help but think Koreeda is getting a few things of his chest.

The film’s lilting atmosphere is almost too light and it feels like it only scrapes the surface of the potential of these relationships.

Yet in a way this is more akin to family dynamic; small bursts of truth before old habits return.

Ultimately, the powerhouse combination of these stars of the screen given space to show off their immense acting chops makes The Truth sparkling, witty and a delight to watch.

THE ESSENTIALS

The Truth (PG)

Director: Hirokazu Koreeda

Starring: Catherine Deneuve, Juliette Binoche, Ethan Hawke

Four stars

In cinemas Boxing Day

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