‘The Truth’: Fictionalizing Fact – The Wall Street Journal.

‘The Truth’: Fictionalizing Fact https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-truth-amc-ifc-films-unlimited-catherine-deneuve-hirokazu-kore-eda-juliette-binoche-ethan-hawke-clementine-grenier-alain-libolt-manon-clavel-11649191116

By John Anderson
“The Truth” won’t set you free. It won’t leave you alone, partly because of the movie within the movie that serves as a metaphor for the entire story: Somewhere in a sci-fi future, a woman facing terminal illness flees to outer space, where time slows to the point that she doesn’t age. Her daughter, however, does. And throughout their infrequent reunions on Earth, the daughter gets older while the mother remains the same.
It’s enough to make you shudder. Not so the rest of “The Truth,” which is funny, wry, emotionally potent, and like most films by Hirokazu Kore-Eda (“Shoplifters,” “Nobody Knows,” “After Life”) operates on multiple levels—usually some kind of domestic tragicomedy under which lies profound existential disquiet. The first film was made outside his native Japan by the director, it dates to 2019 (it is welcome whenever) and operates in a zone where very little light separates the performers from what they’re performing.
Mr. Kore-eda has frequently dealt with questions of aging and death and the philosophical conundrums of his art form. (He had planned to become a novelist, it is said, which comes as no surprise.) What he needed for this French-language film was an actress of a particular stature willing to subsume her ego while playing a narcissist as well as a provocateur, a daunting combo. She arrived in the person of Catherine Deneuve, as Fabienne Danville, a diva who enjoys a Deneuve-in stature in France and whose devotion to la vérité (also the title of her book) is little more than casual. Her daughter, Lumir (Juliette Binoche), has come from New York with her husband, Hank (Ethan Hawke), and daughter, Charlotte (the wonderful Clémentine Grenier), with the expectation of vetting Fabienne’s memoir. To Lumir’s surprise, she finds it already published and on sale. To her further alarm, she finds her mother has fabricated Lumir’s entire childhood and bestowed upon herself a maternal devotion that never existed.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: