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Venice Film Festival review: The Truth

Hirokazu Kore-Eda has been writing and directing supremely humane, insightful dramas for 20 years, to greater and greater acclaim: last year’s Shoplifters won the Palme d’Or at Cannes and was nominated for the best foreign language film Oscar. Now, he’s made his first film outside of Japan, The Truth (or La Verité), which opens this year’s Venice Film Festival. Not much has been lost in translation. It’s certainly lighter and breezier than usual: more likely to make you laugh, but less likely to make you cry. In his Japanese work, the characters tend to be one wrong move away from destitution and/or death, whereas in his new laidback farce they don’t seem to risk anything worse than a hangover brought on by too much expensive brandy. But Kore-Eda’s understanding of the complexities of familial love and the disappointments of middle age is as wise as ever.

20多年來,日本導演是枝裕和一直在創作和導演極富人情味、見解深刻的戲劇,并贏得了越來越多的贊譽:去年的《小偷家族》在法國戛納電影節上獲得了金棕櫚獎,并被提名奧斯卡最佳外語片獎?,F在,他在日本以外拍的第一部電影——《真相》(La Verité)在今年的威尼斯電影節上首映。這部影片比他以往的作品更加輕快:更容易令你發笑,不太可能讓你哭。在他的日語作品中,人物總是想要遠離貧困和/或死亡。然而,在這部新片中,人物所面臨的風險頂多就只是喝了昂貴的白蘭地帶來的宿醉而已。但是,是枝裕和對家庭之愛的復雜性和中年時期的失望的理解一如既往地明智。

There is nothing to alert you, either, that The Truth wasn’t written and directed by someone who was born and bred in France. Having previously made nothing but Japanese films, Kore-Eda has gone on to make a film which is about as French as you can possibly get. Most of it is set in a spacious old house with a leafy garden in Paris; its subject is the resentments between bourgeois relatives; it doesn’t stint on the wine, cheese, crepes and accordions; and it stars two of French cinema’s grandest grande-dames, Catherine Deneuve and Juliette Binoche.

而且,你也看不出來《真相》這部電影不是一個在法國出生和長大的人編劇的和導演的。之前只拍過日本電影的是枝裕和,現在又拍了一部關于法國的電影。影片大部分場景設置在巴黎一座寬敞的老房子里,有一個綠樹成蔭的花園;其主題是中產階級親人之間的怨恨;酒、奶酪、薄餅和手風琴在影片中大量出現。它由兩位法國電影史上最偉大的女演員主演,凱瑟琳·德納芙(Catherine Deneuve)和朱麗葉·比諾什(Juliette Binoche)。 紐約時報中英文網 http://www.244129.buzz

Deneuve plays Fabienne, an actress who could easily be mistaken for Deneuve herself: a Cesar-winning veteran who wears a leopard-print coat and has a framed poster of a film called The Belle of Paris (ie almost Belle de Jour). The secret of her success, she believes, is that she prioritises art over life. Acting comes first; her dog comes second; her husbands, children and colleagues tie for last place. But in her newly published memoirs she presents herself as a devoted mother who cared about nothing more than her daughter, Lumir (Binoche), now a New York-based screenwriter. Lumir remembers her childhood very differently, so she brings her husband (Ethan Hawke) and daughter to Paris so that she can establish – yes – the truth.

德納芙扮演法比安(Fabienne),一位身穿豹紋大衣的凱撒獎得主,并且她還有一張叫做《巴黎美人》(The Belle of Paris)的電影海報。這個角色設計很容易被誤認為是德納芙本人,德納芙曾經演出過一部叫《白日美人》(Belle de Jour)的電影。法比安認為,成功的秘訣是把藝術置于生活之上。表演是排在第一位的,狗是了第二位,而丈夫、孩子和同事并列最后。但在她新出版的回憶錄中,把自己描繪成一個好媽媽,除了女兒盧米爾(Lumir,比諾什飾)以外什么都不關心。盧米爾現在是一名在紐約工作的編劇,她所記得的童年與回憶錄中的描述非常不同,所以她和丈夫(伊森·霍克(Ethan Hawke)飾)、女兒一起來到巴黎,理清事情的“真相”。

Pinning down Fabienne isn’t easy: she always has someone else to talk to or someone else to think about (usually herself). Her partner, her personal assistant, her ex-husband and a pet tortoise come and go, and Fabienne herself is busy shooting a cameo in a science-fiction movie called ‘Memories of My Mother’ – an adaptation, incidentally, of a published story by Ken Liu. The premise of this film-within-a-film is that the mother (Anne Hathaway-ish newcomer Manon Clavel) is terminally ill and has to live in space, where she doesn’t age. She visits her daughter Amy once every seven years, so while the mother stays forever young, her daughter keeps ageing. At 38 Amy is played by Ludivine Sagnier’s actress character Anna, and at 73 she is played by Deneuve’s.<紐約時報中英文網 http://www.244129.buzz/>

牽制住法比安并不容易:她總是有其他人可以傾訴,或是把時間花在自己身上。她的伴侶、私人助理、前夫和一只寵物烏龜來來去去,而她也正忙于一部名為《母親的回憶》(Memories of My Mother)的科幻電影中演出——順便說一句,這是一部美籍華裔科幻作家劉宇昆作品改編的故事。這部“戲中戲”講述了一位因身患絕癥而不得不生活在太空中的母親,在那里她不會衰老。她每7年會去看女兒艾米一次,當母親永遠年輕的時候,女兒艾米卻在越來越老,在這部影片中,38歲的艾米由盧蒂文·薩尼埃(Ludivine Sagnier)飾演,73歲的艾米則由德納芙飾演。

This plot, of course, is a twisted reflection of Fabienne and Lumir’s real relationship (though Lumir denies it), in which contact is rare and fleeting, and in which an ever-glamorous mother lives in a world of her own. As the shooting continues, the sci-fi movie allows Kore-Eda to comment on regrets, showbusiness, performance and the difference between being a good parent and pretending to be a good parent. They are, however, the kind of comments you might make during a dinner with friends. Instead of cutting to the heart of the matter, as he does so often, Kore-Eda is content to prod and poke at it, and the film’s mild mood and leisurely pacing, its preference for hugs and dances over arguments, meant that there were moments I wished I could just watch ‘Memories of My Mother’.


Still, The Truth is always a wistful comic pleasure, and the central performances can’t be faulted. Deneuve is glorious as the casually condescending Fabienne, someone so regal that she never notices how cruel her waspish put-downs are. Binoche’s repertoire of winces and grimaces is almost as funny, and Hawke is touching as a jobbing television actor who may be trying a little too hard to be a fun dad. Kore-Eda makes them all so sympathetic that it doesn’t matter whether the film is in French, Japanese, or any other language. Anyone who has ever been a parent or had a parent will be smiling in recognition.




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