355 Hespeler Rd., Cambridge
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Japan, 2018, Drama, 121 minutes, Japanese with English subtitles
Director: Hirokazu Kore-eda
Principal Cast: Lily Franky, Sakura Andô, Kirin Kiki,
Miyu Sasaki, Jyo Kairi
The latest from Japanese master Hirokazu Kore-eda (Nobody Knows) begins with the mischief and intrigue of a heist movie, but Shoplifters is much more. Osamu (Lily Franky), a middle-aged man, and Shota (Kairi Jyo), a young boy, walk into a grocery store. They play it cool, not speaking but, rather, signalling to each other with their hands and eyes. One provides cover while the other snatches goods. They stroll out the door with a hidden bounty before anyone notices. Osamu and Shota then find four-year-old Juri (Miyu Sasaki) freezing on a balcony and take her back to their poor but happy home. And though Osamu’s wife doesn’t want another mouth to feed, any plans to return Juri to her parents are given the kibosh after signs of abuse are discovered on the little girl’s body. If they’re not demanding a ransom, how could this be a kidnapping?