Shoplifters (2018)
March 5, 2019 12:07 AM - Subscribe

Loved this movie. Such subtle storytelling and acting.
posted by adrianhon at 1:59 AM on March 5, 2019

I caught this last night. While I’m not sure that I’d give it the full 5/5 rapturous reception that it’s received from almost every critic*, it was really good. Amazing performances, including the children. The central questions that it asks - what is a family, and can you define it for yourself? What is the morality of stealing when poor? And what responsibilities do you have to one another, when the authorities are failing you? - are as old as society, but they’re explored in an interesting and sensitive fashion. The film is able to carry you along with its logic, without necessarily falling back on your pre-existing beliefs and automatic judgements. It’s very compassionate. And the scenes relating to Yuri/Lin’s abusive home life are heartbreaking.

I was less sure about the steady drip-drip of revelations about the family’s relationship to one another. Sometimes that felt a little cheap, although I admit that it was an effective way to maintain interest and that each discovery recast previous interactions between characters in a new light. I’m now wondering what it would be like on a second viewing?

*Peter Bradshaw, surely one of the worst critics working today, gave it 4/5 then revised it to 5/5 when he saw which way the wind was blowing, lol.
posted by chappell, ambrose at 6:29 AM on May 22, 2019

Oh, and my only point of confusion: what was Granny’s supposed hustle with Aki’s parents? My impression was that they truly did believe that Aki was in Australia, and gave Granny the money out of compassion / guilt over her husband leaving her for Aki’s grandmother. But the police said that they gave the money to her for looking after Aki. Was that just a cynical interrogation tactic? (One that seemed to have worked, if so.)
posted by chappell, ambrose at 6:34 AM on May 22, 2019

My spouse’s impression was that the couple was paying the grandmother because the man’s mother had “stolen” the grandmother’s husband, possibly by having an affair.

Finally saw this, and what a good movie it was. So slow and so tender, and yet also so increasingly tense. On first thought, it seemed as if the love that drew all these folks together was too imbalanced, and it was that affection that blew everything up. I'd like to digest it more, though, and to see it again when I feel up for that kind of emotional workout.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:04 PM on July 6, 2020

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