Master director Kore-Eda Hirokazu’s wry and charming new dramedy The Truth pairs Academy Award nominees Catherine Deneuve and Juliette Binoche on screen for the first time. Together they play the parts of a celebrated actress and her estranged daughter – a fractured relationship put to the test in quietly comical circumstances.
Fabienne (Deneuve) is a star; a much loved, larger-than-life icon of French cinema who pays little attention to the trivialities of life and of those around her. When she publishes her memoirs, her screenwriter daughter Lumir (Binoche) returns to Paris from New York for the occasion, accompanied by her struggling actor husband Hank (Ethan Hawke) and their inquisitive young daughter Charlotte (Clémentine Grenier).
It comes as no surprise to Lumir that everything in her grand childhood home still revolves around her mother, and as she begins to read Fabienne’s book it becomes clear it’s riddled with omissions and embellishments – especially with regard to her relationship with the great artistic rival of her past, Sarah Mondavan.
As Fabienne prepares for her next film, her long-suffering assistant unexpectedly quits. Lumir reluctantly steps into the awkward role and finds herself back in the same film studios where she spent countless hours as a child. As the on and off-set worlds begin to amusingly – and movingly – intertwine, suppressed emotions and secrets can no longer be kept in check.
Deneuve plays the nonchalant screen queen with ease. Binoche’s character is believably manifested as the result of a frequently overlooked childhood and Hawke strolls through his part as her husband.
There are some subtleties of Fabienne’s and rival Sarah’s story lost through the subtitles but its a highly enjoyable watch.
The Truth opens today at all participating Palace cinemas. Check your local guides for screening times.
About The Truth
Directed and written by Kore-Eda Hirokazu
Stars Catherine Deneuve, Juliette Binoche, Ethan Hawke, Clementine Grenier, Manon Clavel, Alain Libolt, Christian Crahay, Roger van Hool