Skip to main content

Jyo Kairi, Lily Franky, Mayu Matsuoka, Sakura Ando and Miyu Sasaki in Shoplifters.

Courtesy of Mongrel Media

  • Shoplifters
  • Written and directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda
  • Starring Lily Franky and Sakura Ando
  • Classification 14A
  • 121 minutes

rating

Sometimes, the films of the Japanese master Hirokazu Kore-eda remind me of the novels of Paul Auster, deceptively simple prose that builds slowly into a puzzle of quietly explosive force.

A poet laureate of family and morality, his humanist triumphs include Like Father, Like Son, a meditation on the meaning of parenthood that picked up the jury prize at Cannes in 2013. Shoplifters, which won this year’s Palme d’Or, revisits the theme and goes deeper, telling a story about a Tokyo family that subsidizes its working-class existence with petty thefts.

Story continues below advertisement

One cold winter night, they bring home a neglected little girl they find on the street, intending to take her back after she’s been fed and warmed up. In time, though, we learn she’s more like them than she seems.

Kore-eda unveils the family’s manifold mysteries slowly, with beguiling grace. When the shoplifters execute their crimes, they usually do so with slick cunning and leave their victims none the wiser. The director, though, reaches in and steals your heart right in front of your eyes, like a magic trick, and you have to admit you didn’t even see it coming.

Shoplifters opens Dec. 21 in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter