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Shoplifters – members’ comments

Comments on Shoplifters, the thirteenth film of the 50th Season, shown on 3rd April 2019.

Members’ Rating 78.4%: A – 33 ; B – 34 ; C – 19 ; D – 1 ; E – 0. 87 votes from 129 Members signing in.

A – (excellent) Loved this film – more Japanese films, please. Brilliant in all respects – worthy of Palme d’Or. A view into such a different life and culture: yet a story from all around the world. Loved the film – I didn’t want it to end: The relationships were so tender. A most beautiful and moving film – full of emotion but not sentimental – original characters that will always stay with me. A totally unexpected film – very emotional. “Family” life seemed lovely, all caring for each other – children quite happy – what a sad ending. Enjoyed this film as much as Frantz: two of the best this season. Sometimes it’s better if you can choose your family? Why do the lights have to be turned on so soon at the end? It would be nice to be able to watch the credits, listen to the soundtrack and let the film take its full effect. Definitely the best of the season and one of the best films I’ve ever seen: Ambiguous, intense and moving: Very glad I suggested it: Need to see Kore-eda’s other films now. Superb, clever criticism of family unit – love, commitment, how children are viewed – giving voice to the voiceless. A sensitive and moving tale of displaced individuals finding themsleves an alternative family: Well observed. Very unusual, never seen anything like it: The one who went back to her family ended up least happy? Powerful and very well filmed. A moving film, if somewhat slow at times. Really enjoyed this film: Very complicated plot, moving story. Moving, deeply humane, intelligent, thought-provoking, unusual: “To live outside the law, you must be honest” – Bob Dylan. Fascinating: Makes you appreciate what an alien culture Japan is. Beautiful – life is not black and white but shades of many colours. A touching and surprising slice of Japanese life. Breathtaking. Poignant, morally complex, beautifully acted. I’m amazed that there can be such poverty in Japan. Fantastic film – challenged all pre-conceived ideas about love and what a “proper” family looks like. A very moving film – very sad. Great characters: Liked the clever dialogue: Sad but good. Beautiful, tender and thought-provoking. A rich, satisfying and deeply intelligent film: The superb director, Hirokazu Kore-eda, has crafted another complex, subtle, mysterious and beautiful film.

B – (very good) Confusing first half, but really touching second half: Brilliant acting by the two leads. Gentle and humane, loved the insight into a different Japan to the one we think we know: Loved it. Gentle story, well told. Seeing another side of Japanese society was interesting, BUT… Beautiful story. The camera work was excellent, lending imtimacy. Superb control of material and pace by the director. Found it difficult to concentrate on other characters at the end – too worried about Lin/Juri. Interesting! An interesting film into “family” relationships – even when it turned out they weren’t actually all related: Ended on a sad point – What would become of Juri/Lin? It left the viewer wanting to know more: Grandma was not all she seemed – in fact all the adults hid secrets. Tender, subtle and surprising: Maybe a bit too slow in the end: Very good storytelling. An interesting insight into another world: an unusual twist to the story. Hmmm. Great insight into everyday Japanese life and culture. A side of Japanese life that is unseen. So nothing is what it seems and I don’t know why I liked this film (second half). A moving film: Insight into a different aspect of Japanese life. A compelling insight into Japan: Loved the children’s performances and chaotic home life: 50% of the film seemed to be eating! A window into Japanese culture: A lovely story. Enjoyed film: A bit confusing but very moving. Twenty minutes too long. A hypnotic film: Slightly dream-like quality: Difficult to comment on. I enjoyed it but ultimately sad. The little girl was so cute – sad or not that she was back “home”? Quietly compelling. Good to see a film that’s obviously true to life and of another culture. (The cinema is always SO hot – uncomfortably so). Interesting, sad and uplfting at the same time: Illustrated how a “family” can be created quite happily from a group of misfits.

C – (good) Different! WEIRD. Lovely-looking little girl: Both great family and also lots of lies and cover-ups: Good plot, very unexpected ending: Twists and turns made a good experience. Enjoyed it mostly, however found it hard to follow at times. An interesting story about family, relationships and what you need to do to survive in a difficult situation. Unusual subject, not sure if I “enjoyed” it, but was certainly food for thought! A low-key yet poignant drama with strong performances: A surprise change of gear towards the end: A good choice. Fascinating but a bit too long. They certainly knew how to make money! Some nice twists and turns but a tad overlong. Good to see another side of contemporary Japanese society, ie not yakuza or geisha: An ultimately sad “twilight zone” tale. A film of two halves: Thought the first half very slow and would have liked to have seen the denouement expanded: The poverty of Japan is so rarely seen: A different view of dysfunctional family arrangement, but difficult to understand cultural context: Love can take many forms and the themes expored and developed were extremely interesting: Sad that the wellbeing of Juri/Lin was not followed up.

D – (fair) I think there must be something wrong with me – I just found this film slow and a bit boring, but also quite sweet and touching.

E – (poor) (no comments/ratings)


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