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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The movie is partly about family struggles between a grown daughter and her mother, but the main theme is perhaps represented by the title. Just what, exactly, is "truth"? Can memories properly represent the truth? Is there a difference between someone's "emotional" truth and a more factual one?
Positive Role Models
No clear role models here: The characters are just complex humans, struggling with their own fears, shortcomings, and disappointments. Fabienne is a successful, accomplished performer, but she also behaves in a selfish way.
Violence & Scariness
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Reference to an actor getting a part by sleeping with the director.
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Uses of "s--t." A use of "pee."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A character has given up drinking. Mention of rehab. Cigarette smoking by adults. Characters drink wine with dinner. Mention of being drunk.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Truth is a largely French-language drama by Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Hirokazu Koreeda (Shoplifters) that stars Catherine Deneuve, Juliette Binoche, and Ethan Hawke. While it has very little iffy material (it's fine for tweens and up), the subject matter -- the complicated relationship between an aging actress and her adult daughter -- will likely bore many younger viewers. Expect some sex-related talk and strong language (a few uses of "s--t"). Characters smoke cigarettes and drink socially, and one character is said to have quit drinking. Rehab is mentioned. It feels a little lightweight, but it has a solid center, with great characters and performances. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.