Shoplifters makes it seem like Hirokazu Kore-eda happened to catch a story develop, as if by accident. His unique observational eye shines through in this film similar to his previous works; from the careful cinematography that peers into private moments to the immense attention to detail in the characters’ dialogue, the otherwise strange expositional situation in Shoplifters disappears under the unwavering realism captured in every moment.
A chosen family of six unrelated people live together in a home meant for one. As they work through their daily lives by the means they know best — stealing and shoplifting — I found myself appreciating the main couple, Osamu and Nobuyo, for their morally ambiguous yet still well-intentioned actions. They provide love for those who are denied it through their own convoluted methods.
Throughout the film, we share moments of heartbreak, jealousy, love, honesty and lies through hushed side conversations or mouthed phrases. Kore-eda demonstrates a great appreciation for the small moments; movies like this are hard to come by in a fast-paced, action-driven modern world. We could all benefit from a quiet walk through a cinematic experience like Shoplifters.
Shoplifters is playing at Cornell Cinema Friday, March 8 at 8:30 p.m. and Saturday, March 9 at 9:30 p.m.
Celine Choo is a junior in the College of Engineering. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.