Jun 14, 2021
On the podcast this week, Steven and Sean are, um, kidnapping kids and stealing so much stuff from our local grocers? That sounds pretty bad. We’re talking all about it in this week’s episode about Hirokazu Koreeda’s film from 2018, Shoplifters.
Yeah, there’s a kidnapping that happens here. Would it help at all if I told you that the titular family at the heart of this story took in a young girl because she was being neglected and abused at her home? And also that she’s with a family that clearly loves her a whole lot? I hope it will help because that’s all I’ve got.
Look, this is a film full of gray areas. Hell, the entire film is a gray area. This family isn’t exactly what it appears to be. There’s a lot of stuff going on under the surface. All of it is surprising. Some of it is a little troubling. A few moments might even make you gasp. Whoever would have guessed this film would turn out the way it did after looking at its poster? Check out the link to its IMDb page down in the links area to see what I mean.
There’s something to be said about the love that’s shared between family members, especially if it’s a family you make and not just one you’re born into. When you choose whom you love and spend your time with, it can mean just as much as a family to which you have a direct relation. Some might argue that it can be a stronger bond, and I don’t think I’d disagree with that view.
This film has a story that’s filled with murky decisions made for tough reasons. It’s no wonder that it won the freaking Palme d’Or at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for a Best Foreign Language Oscar. It’s rare to find a film with such complex depth to it, and when you do you’d better give it all the accolades it very much deserves.
Since watching Shoplifters, it’s stuck in our minds. It’s sneaky that way. It gets inside you and just doesn’t want to let go. It’s not the cheeriest movie ever made—we’re not going to lie about that—but it’s safe to say that it’s an important film. It’s a work of art that demands your attention, your emotions, and your critical thoughts. It’s a lasting masterpiece.
(Recorded on April 26, 2021)
Links to Stuff We Mentioned:
Our Libsyn site!