Hirokazu Kore-eda Will Open Venice 2019

Catherine Deneuve in Hirokazu Kore-eda’s The Truth (2019)

Barely two months after Shoplifters won the Palme d’Or in Cannes last year, word was out that Hirokazu Kore-eda was already at work on a new feature, his first to be shot outside of Japan. The Truth will also be the first film to bring together two major stars of French and international cinema, Catherine Deneuve and Juliette Binoche. Today, the Venice Film Festival announced that the film, which also features Ethan Hawke and Ludivine Sagnier, will open its seventy-sixth edition on August 28.

In what can’t be too much of a stretch, Deneuve plays Fabienne, a French icon of the silver screen surrounded by men who love and admire her. The publication of her memoirs brings her daughter Lumir (Binoche) to Paris from New York, her husband (Hawke) and young child in tow. It isn’t long before Fabienne and Lumir are locking horns and confessing to long-held resentments. “We shot the movie in ten weeks last fall in Paris,” says Kore-eda in a response to today’s announcement. “The cast is prestigious, but the film itself recounts a small family story that takes place primarily inside a house. I have tried to make my characters live within this small universe, with their lies, pride, regrets, sadness, joy, and reconciliation.”

Besides the Palme d’Or, Kore-eda won the jury prize in Cannes in 2013 for Like Father, Like Son, and in 2017, The Third Murder premiered in competition in Venice. So, too, will The Truth before IFC Films brings it to North America, most likely before the end of this year. For her part, Deneuve remains as busy as ever, and will soon be seen in Cédric Kahn’s Happy Birthday. Binoche’s body of work, in the meantime, is the focus of considerable attention this summer. In the UK, Mubi’s retrospective is running through September 23, and at Reverse Shot, critics are contributing to Binoche Auteur, a symposium on the actress who has created “a through-line in otherwise disparate works for generations of cinephiles.” As for Hawke, Richard Linklater’s Before trilogy has given him plenty of experience playing an American with a headstrong French partner.

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