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In early 18th century England, a frail Queen Anne occupies the throne and her close friend, Lady Sarah, governs the country in her stead. When a new servant, Abigail, arrives, her charm endears her to Sarah.
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A Japanese couple stuck with part-time jobs and hence inadequate incomes avail themselves of the fruits of shoplifting to make ends meet. They are not alone in this behaviour. The younger and the older of the household are in on the act. The unusual routine is about to change from care-free and matter-of-fact to something more dramatic, however, as the couple open their doors to a beleaguered young girl. The reasons for the family's habit and their motivations come under the microscope.Written by
For this stunning masterpiece Shoplifters, Hirokazu Koreeda should win the Academy Award for Best Director. It is unbelievable that the rather complicated characters and their relationships are depicted in just two hours. The approach is mild, understated, low-profile, subtle and nuanced. Much room, space and thought are left to the viewers. The direction is simply super smart.
The cinematography is extraordinary, with some surprising long shots, close-ups and beautiful shots from tight angles. The editing is speechless, connecting numerous scenes just seamlessly. Not a single minute is wasted, and the film is largely intense and arresting. Together with the brilliant performances from the ensemble cast, the result is a satisfying and deeply affecting drama on lower class in Japan.
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