Truth, The: Kore-eda’s Serio-Comedy, Starring Catherine Deneuve and Juliette Binoche

The Truth, Kore-eda’s first film shot outside of Japan and not in the Japanese language, is now released by IFC as VOD.  The movie served as opening night of the 2019 Venice Film Fest.


French (and international) star Catherine Deneuve says the language barrier working with Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda caused some frustration but that she was happy in the end.

The 75-year-old actress stars in his latest film, The Truth (La Verite) which opened the 76th Venice Film Fest Wednesday night.

Deneuve plays a French movie star whose already complex relationship with her grown up daughter (Juliette Binoche) gets even more comlicated (and intriguing) after the publication of her supposedly true and honest memoir. Juliette Binoche plays the daughter.

Deneuve says the process of working through an interpreter to speak to the director was very unique and sometimes difficult. While the language barrier between the director and ensemble was not smooth at first–an interpreter was present on set–the process worked well in the end as “only the essentials” were shared.

As slyly–and self-satirizing–played by Deneuve, Fabienne is a famed, self-centered French actress whose career, tough exterior, and neglectful behavior as a mother, have long distanced her from her screenwriter daughter, Lumir.

In the course of the sly and humorous tale, Deneuve and Binoche face off as mother and daughter whose fragile relationship resurfaces as they reunite when the former publishes her memoirs.

When Lumir returns to Paris from New York with her husband (Ethan Hawke), and their young daughter, she confronts Fabienne about some hidden “truths” and painful “memories.”

Fabienne, an self-centered actress who refuses to apologize for her wrongdoings, acts petty when cast alongside a much younger rising star and is fearful her career may soon be over.

“We thought it might be interesting to shoot in France, and you would need actresses to represent the history of the French cinema,” Kore-eda told a news conference via an interpreter.

“There is this family drama aspect but it is in reality the story of a relationship between mother and daughter. They have their own existence, they try to get on, accepting each other.”

Kore-eda is known for his rich work on family issues, including the critically-acclaimed Shoplifters, which won the prestigious Palme d’Or prize at the 2018 Cannes Film Fest.

Character Different from My Own

“What I put in of myself is what you usually put in when playing a role,” Deneuve said. “But this character is very different from me. Her world is very distant from mine. Her relationship with her daughter is obviously something that’s very distant to me as well.”

Binoche said she relished acting alongside Deneuve, whose 1970 film Donkey Skin (“Peau d’ane”) was one of her favorite films when she was younger.