EXCLUSIVE: From veteran filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda, family drama Shoplifters is Japan’s submission for the Foreign Language Oscar race this year. Ahead of Magnolia Pictures’ release of the Palme d’Or winner in U.S. theaters on November 23, we’ve got an exclusive clip — check it out above.
The story of a family of small-time crooks has been a box office winner at home, becoming the acclaimed director’s biggest title at local turnstiles with about $38M. In China over the summer, it became the highest grossing live-action Japanese movie ever in the market with over $14M.
In Shoplifters, a dysfunctional band of outsiders is united by fierce loyalty, a penchant for petty theft and playful grifting. After one of their shoplifting sessions, Osamu and his son come across a little girl in the freezing cold. At first reluctant to shelter her, Osamu’s wife agrees after learning of the hardships she faces.
In the clip above, things get complicated when the family sees on a TV news report that the little girl has been reported missing. “This looks bad — really bad,” Osamu says.
Although the family is poor, barely making enough money to survive through petty crime, they seem to live happily together until their young son is arrested, exposing secrets that upend their tenuous existence and test their quietly radical belief that it is love — not blood — that defines a family.
Kore-eda also wrote and edited the film that stars Lily Franky, Ando Sakura, Matsuoka Mayu, Kiki Kirin, Jyo Kairi and Sasaki Miyu.
For the Oscars, Kore-eda previously repped his home country with 2004’s Nobody Knows which did not make the shortlist. Japan bypassed his 2013 Cannes Jury Prize winner Like Father, Like Son which many believed should have been that year’s submission.