‘Shoplifters’ Rounds Out Whirlwind Year Winning 'Best Picture' at Asian Film Awards
Kore-eda Hirokazu’s ‘Shoplifters,’ a Japanese drama about a family surviving on shoplifting, was named best picture at Sunday’s Asian Film Awards in Hong Kong. The film had been the surprise Palme d’Or winner at the Cannes festival last year, but has since won worldwide acclaim and achieved record returns at the Asian box office. ‘Shoplifters’ also won best original music with Japanese music pioneer Hosono Haruomi’s score.
Among the foreign films vying for an Oscar this year, we found ‘Shoplifters’ to be preferable to ‘Roma,’ Alfonso Cuaron’s commercial and critical hit. For those who may have missed ‘Shoplifters’ during its limited theatrical run, the movie can be streamed on either Hulu or Hoopla (or rented digitally on other platforms for a nominal fee).
Our review of the film is as follows:
'Shoplifters' notably won the Palme d'Or at Cannes this year, the first Japanese film to do so since 1997's 'The Eel.' It has since gone on to win 11 other awards and was recently nominated by the Golden Globes for Best Foreign Language Motion Picture.
The merit for all these accolades isn't immediately apparent to audiences when initially delving into the picture, which features a small but close-knit family unit reliant on shoplifting and other petty crimes to survive.
However, the film becomes more and more engrossing as the ties that bond the characters together are further tested and examined. Additionally, since domestic audiences aren't familiar with the actors, it lends an incredible amount of authenticity to their roles, further amplified by writer/director Hirokazu Koreeda's impeccable camera placement.
In the end, this isn't a film that leaves you exhilarated or exhausted when exiting the theater. Contemplative, perhaps, is the best way to describe it, lingering well beyond when the other emotions have usually passed.