The Truth (La vérité)
Reviewed by Tami Smith, Film Reviewer for Shockya
Director: Hirokazu Kore-eda
Screenwriter: Hirokazu Kore-eda
Cast: Catherine Deneuve, Juliette Binoche, Ethan Hawke, Clémentine Grenier
Release Date: July 3rd, 2020
The Truth tells the story of a visit between a famous French actress Fabienne Dangeville (Catherine Deneuve) and her daughter Lumir (Juliette Binoche) during late Autumn and early Parisian Winter. Fabienne had published her autobiography, rose-washing the conflicted relationship with her daughter.
The plot combines long conversation-driven scenes, as characters insult each other through casual dialog accompanied by polite smiles. Fabienne has a diva attitude. She threw her husband out of the house and named an old turtle, Pierre, after him. Her permanent secretary left but Fabienne would not stoop to bringing him back. It is up to Lumir, her daughter, to write an apology, which Fabienne memorizes. Fabienne looks down on her American son-in-law, Hank (Ethan Hawke), by speaking French to him in private conversations. Since he has a limited understanding of the language beyond bonjour, au revoir and merci he remains clueless but must pretend to listen. Fabienne’s feels contempt at Hank’s TV acting career, marred by alcoholism and rehab, and challenges his sexual prowess in bed.
Director and screenwriter Hirokazu Kore-eda makes this material credible, while not losing the snobbism and elitism displayed by the main characters.
The Truth is well-cast with Chaterine Deneuve, leading the group, in full glory. Juliette Binoche, as Lumir her daughter, resents her mother, while realizing that the latter’s memoir lacks honesty and needs fact-checking. Ethan Hawke plays Hank in an under-written role. When he asks his wife Lumir, Why did you bring me here? We realize that his role is not essential and his functions are minimal. Clémentine Grenier as Charlotte, Lumir’s daughter, is a small bilingual eight-year old girl that brings joy to those around her.
The Truth was photographed by Eric Gautier in various districts in Paris, Orly, and Studios d’Epinay in Seine-Saint-Denis. The filming of scenes during late Autumn/early Winter shows a France that most tourists rarely see.
105 minutes Rated PG © Tami Smith, Film Reviewer