Shoplifters (2018)

2h 1m / R / Crime, Drama

After shoplifting from a store, Osamu and his son run into a little homeless girl shivering with cold. At first glance, Osamu’s wife is not quite keen to take her under her wing, but she eventually feels sorry for her. Despite eking a living from shoplifting, the family is happy until an unforeseen incident unveils a secret that puts their bond to the test.

Throughout his career, filmmaker Kore-eda Hirokazu has worried family relationships like a bone. In Shoplifters, he contrasts the frigid emotions of socially correct behavior with the warmth and happiness of a dishonest lower-class family, where money is tight and all methods of obtaining it are permissible, including teaching the kids to steal. The Shibata family connects in any number of different ways: love, money, loneliness, scars. Also petty thievery: Osamu and Shota genuinely have fun stealing together, the duo sharing an adorable fist-bump before every robbery. And it’s good that the Shibata have so much in common, as all of those bonds will be interrogated over the course of Shoplifters, among the very best of the writer-director’s delicate, deceptive, and profoundly moving dramas about the forces that hold a family together (or don’t).

Japanese with English subtitles