Watch The Truth
- 1 hr 46 min
The Truth, released in 2019, is a French and Japanese co-production directed and co-written by Hirokazu Kore-eda. It stars legendary French actress Catherine Deneuve, Academy Award-winning actress Juliette Binoche, and American actor Ethan Hawke. The film centers on a complicated mother-daughter relationship and explores themes of truth, memory, and the nature of art.
Deneuve plays Fabienne Dangeville, a French cinema icon who has just released a memoir titled "La vÃ©ritÃ©" (The Truth), in which she revisits her life and career. Binoche plays Lumir, Fabienne's daughter, who lives in New York and is also an actress. When Lumir returns to Paris with her American husband, played by Hawke, to celebrate the release of her mother's book, she is surprised to find that Fabienne has painted a rosy picture of their relationship in her memoir. Fabienne's depiction of Lumir is detached and cold, while Lumir remembers their past very differently. Tensions between the two escalate as they try to reconcile their differing versions of the past.
One of the most interesting aspects of The Truth is the way Kore-eda blurs the boundaries between fiction and reality. Fabienne is a fictional character, but she is played by Deneuve, who is herself a cinema icon in France. The film shows Fabienne on set, shooting a science-fiction movie called "Memories of My Mother", which is also a fictional film within the movie. Through these layers of fiction, we get a glimpse into the complex relationships between actors, directors, and the roles they play.
The Truth is also a meditation on aging and the passing of time. Fabienne is in her seventies and is still working, but she is keenly aware that her best years are behind her. She confronts her mortality through her work, and one of the most memorable scenes in the film is when she is filming a death scene and realizes that she is not ready to let go. Binoche's character, on the other hand, is struggling with the realization that her mother is not the infallible figure she once thought she was. She has to come to terms with the fact that her mother is human, and that the memories she cherishes may not be entirely accurate.
The performances in The Truth are exceptional, particularly those of Deneuve and Binoche. Deneuve is magnetic as Fabienne, delivering a masterclass in acting as she navigates the various layers of the character. Binoche is equally impressive as Lumir, conveying a simmering anger and frustration that never boils over into melodrama. Hawke provides strong support as Lumir's husband, playing a bumbling, affable man who is mostly caught in the middle of the mother-daughter conflict.
The visuals in The Truth are stunning, particularly the scenes on the set of "Memories of My Mother". The film makes great use of vivid colors and contrasts, with Fabienne's opulent house a stark contrast to Lumir's cramped New York apartment. Kore-eda also makes great use of mirrors and reflections, emphasizing the idea that the characters are constantly seeing themselves in each other.
Overall, The Truth is a thoughtful, nuanced film that rewards close attention. While it is a slow-paced movie that is more focused on character than plot, it offers a rich, satisfying portrait of a complicated mother-daughter relationship. Fans of Catherine Deneuve and Juliette Binoche will find much to appreciate here, as will anyone interested in the complexities of memory and truth.
The Truth is a 2020 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 46 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.5 and a MetaScore of 76.