By Diana Cheng
AAP film review
Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda’s “Shoplifters” just won the prestigious award the Palme d’Or at the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival on Saturday, May 19. Kore-eda is the second Asian director this century to win the Cannes top prize, the first being Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s “Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives” in 2010.
Jury head Cate Blanchett presented the award to Kore-eda as the Film Festival came to a close celebrating a year of strong films. Blanchett led an international jury that included actors Chang Chen, Léa Seydoux and Kristen Stewart, musician Khadja Nin, directors Denis Villeneuve, Andrey Zvyagintsev, Ava DuVernay and Robert Guédiguian.
Kore-eda is a veteran at Cannes over the past decade. “Shoplifters” is his fifth Palme d’Or nomination. Other than Cannes, Kore-eda’s works had garnered numerous international film accolades.
Renowned for his portrayal of the family and the intricate dynamics within its members, Kore-eda can be regarded as a contemporary filmmaker emulating the iconic Japanese auteur Yasujiro Ozu. Kore-eda’s other Cannes acclaimed features include “After the Storm” (2016 Un Certain Regard winner), “Our Little Sister” (2015 Palme d’Or nominee), and “Like Father, Like Son” (2013 Jury Prize winner).
“Shoplifters” is another family drama depicting a family confronting poverty. It stars Kore-eda’s usual actors Lily Franky and Kirin Kiki. With the Palme d’Or win, the feature will surely make its round among international film festival circuit.