Film, TV + Theatre

5 Things to know about ‘Shoplifters’, this year’s Palme d’Or winner

Cream of the crop


By Su Fen Tan

5 Things to know about ‘Shoplifters’, this year’s Palme d’Or winner

1. It just became the “surprise” winner of the Palme d’Or at Cannes 2018

While there were speculation that the Palme might go to a female director this year, with the #TimesUp movement still in full throttle (rightfully so) and three strong contenders in the pool, Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda ultimately took top honours at Cannes for Shoplifters. He’s no stranger to the film festival though, having made six previous appearances with a Jury Prize win in 2013 for Like Father, Like Son


2. Hirokazu Kore-eda wrote, directed and edited the film

Kore-eda has been honing his craft in filmmaking for almost 30 years, writing his own films for the last two decades and took to the editor’s chair for more than half of them—a true veteran auteur known for his classical Japanese approach to films, with his signature touch of humanism and quiet, contemplative way of telling stories. 


3. Kore-eda and lead actor Lily Franky have collaborated multiple times

This is Franky’s third time working with the director. However, this is the first time the multi-talented actor (who is also known as an illustrator, writer) is playing the lead role in Kore-eda’s film.


4. It’s a compelling family drama

Exploring the question “what makes a family”, Kore-eda crafts a socially conscious film set in Tokyo and influenced by the Japanese Recession. Franky plays Osamu Shibata, a petty thief who lives in poverty with his family in the city—a peculiar family that lives off committing crime. After one of their shoplifting rounds one day, Osamu and his son Shota come across a little girl (Juri) left out shivering in the cold. Worried that she might freeze to death, Osamu brings her home. While his wife objects this move at first, she has a change of heart after seeing the marks of abuse on the girl’s body. However, one thing leads to another, and it’s soon evident that the makeshift household’s happy-go-lucky way of life won’t last forever. 


5. Plot twists and unexpected revelations awaits

Secrets of the family will be unveiled one after another, culminating in a film that is sure to tug at your heartstrings just like it did the Cannes Jury. “We were completely bowled over by Shoplifters. How intermeshed the performances were with the directorial vision”, said jury president Cate Blanchett. “The ending blew us out of the cinema.”


See the full list of winners at the 71st Annual Cannes Film Festival here.

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