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Parents' Guide to

The Truth

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Thoughtful mother-daughter story has strong performances.

Movie PG 2020 106 minutes
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Working outside his native Japan with famous French and American stars, director Hirokazu Koreeda delivers a drama that seems a tad slight but is still quietly thoughtful and beautifully acted. Certain characters, including Hank, and certain subplots/themes don't really seem necessary, and they give the impression of trailing off into nothingness. The majority of The Truth is in French (with English subtitles for U.S. release), and Hank's character speaks only in English, so he spends most of the movie either looking confused or ignoring the other adults and playing games with Charlotte. Another character, "Susan," seems important and is mentioned in dialogue but is never seen.

But Binoche and Deneuve are spectacular in their scenes together, and Deneuve has one of her best and funniest roles with Fabienne, often getting laughs with her wry, sophisticated line readings. The sci-fi movie-within-the-movie also offers a fascinating perspective, with Fabienne playing scenes as a daughter who longs to fill in the blanks of her relationship with her mother. It's an insightful mirror-opposite of the real-life scenes between Fabienne and Lumir. Even though The Truth isn't perfect, it's these humanist touches -- a trademark of Koreeda (I Wish, Shoplifters) -- that make it worth seeing.

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