A stormy reunion between scriptwriter Lumir with her famous mother and actress, Fabienne, against the backdrop of Fabienne's autobiographic book and her latest role in a Sci-Fi picture as a daughter of a mother who never grows old.
Fabienne is a star; a star of French cinema. She reigns amongst men who love and admire her. When she publishes her memoirs, her daughter Lumir returns from New York to Paris with her husband and young child. The reunion between mother and daughter will quickly turn to confrontation: truths will be told, accounts settled, loves and resentments confessed.Written by
The italian title, which translates to the plural form "Le Verità" the singular form of the original french 'La Vérité', encompasses perfectly the topic of the film.
On the surface it might seem an average comedy, but with this idea in mind, a viewer can decode a set of very interesting hints that are well-hidden (or well shown) throughout the motion picture.
La Vérité reminded me much of an Ingmar Bergman film that is dear to me, Autumn Sonata. There are several common elements: both films focus on a mother-daughter relationship, in both films the daughter has to cope with the difficulties of her mother being a celebrity, both films are spacially tight. Bergman's movie is definitely a timeless masterpiece, but Koreega's movie still manages to stand on its own.
The premise of the plot is that Catherine Deneuve's character wrote an autobiography in which she seems to embellish her past, specifically, her motherhood. Juliette Binoche's character, the daughter who came in visit with her family, soon finds these alterations and tries to inquiry about them. Next to this, Deneuve's character accepted a role in a movie solely to work with an emerging actress who resembles a now deceased friend of her.
Quite obviously, truth is the central theme to the movie. Being an actress, Deneuve's character is continuously hard to read. As she strumentalizes real emotions to enhance her acting performance, her truth is always nebulous, she sometimes seems to be honest, but lies about her feelings. On the other hand, her daughter gradually gets to know her better and is able to figure some form of truth. The combination of the two elements drives on the plot. Truth(s) is an element that comes up everywhere, starting from a certain pet turtle that lives in Deneuve's character's garden, up to the continuous alternation of reality and fiction while the actress is on the film set, up to the point that she has to rely on her acting skills to sincerely apologize to a beloved character.
Saying more would spoil the movie.
Female characters receive most space in the movie: not only Deneuve's and Binoche's, but also Manon Clavell's character, the actress who Deneuve works with, as well as Deneuve's character's niece, all have a central role in the story. Ethan Hawke's character feels tosses to the side and frankly irrelevant. The otherwise well-known and talented actor gets very few lines, and has to rely on a sometimes maybe too exaggerated set of gestures and expressions.
I haven't seen other Koreeda films. This movie was interesting enough though to make me consider seeing his other works.
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