Shoplifters Review: One of the Year's Best Films

Mark Harrison Nov 27, 2018

Hirokazu Kore-eda's Palme d'Or winning family drama is terrific and transfixing.

Fresh off a Palme d'Or win at this year's Cannes Film Festival, Shoplifters centers around the Shibatas, a family living in poverty in suburban Tokyo. Cramming seven characters into a bungalow, writer-director Hirokazu Kore-eda mounts an absorbing drama about who these people are and how much they mean to one another.

In this setting, the winters are always too cold and the summers are always intolerably hot, with the common problem being that they are almost too poor to get by in any season. That said, the Shibata family seem to be doing better than other local families, and that's partly because Osamu (Lily Franky) is teaching his young son Shota (Kairi Jō) how to steal groceries and other essentials.

Osamu justifies this to himself and his family by saying that if someone hasn't bought it yet,

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