The Truth movie appraisal & film summary (2020)
That film, “Memories of My Mother” tells the story of a mother who has only two ages to live, so she decides to live in outer Place because “nobody grows old out there.” She creates occasional visits to see her daughter, who keeps drawing older while her mother stays the same age. Eventually, the daughter is a 73 ages old embodied by Fabienne. The lead actress is Manon Lenoir (Manon Clavel), an up-and-coming actress who looks like the late actress Sarah Mondavan, whose fascinating haunts “The Truth” through a slew of Fabienne’s memories, all of which she has left out of her memoir. “It’s not moving to be a good film,” Fabienne says of Manon’s movie. But “Memories” is moving to be a useful plot device for Kore-eda.
Plot Plan is not exactly accurate; unlike Kore-eda’s acclaimed last feature “Shoplifters,” “The Truth” doesn’t have very much of a plot. What small there is serves as a clothesline for its two superior leads to hang their performances out to dry. This very fascinating movie is all about its women, mothers and daughters, grandmothers and granddaughters, actresses and mentors and best friends whose relationship has gone downhill for reasons around to be unearthed. Because it’s about women, “The Truth” could derisively be labelled as a soap opera, but as someone who grew up watching my “stories,” I see nothing immoral with that genre. In fact, this kind of movie is my jam—divas commanding the Hide while, to quote Celeste Holm in “All About Eve,” “the men will do as they’re told.”
Representing those fine (and less interesting) men is Ethan Hawke, who plays Lumir’s fine husband, Hank. Unlike Fabienne, he’s not very good (“he’s a better lover than actor,” Lumir tells her mother) and he’s lovely much tasked with what would be the girlfriend role in this picture. Hell, he even works on an internet soap down, one watched by Jacques (Christian Crahay) and Papy Pierre (Roger Van Hool), the new men in Fabienne’s house. (They recap the plot with giddy Delicious, like a bunch of aunties sitting down for tea.) Hawke smartly plays Hank as the guy caught in the middle between mother and daughter, eager to cede the spotlight to their battles. But he’s very good at listening and silently reacting—he doesn’t view French yet plays an entire scene with Fabienne where he seems to be tying what she’s talking about—and he has a tremendous moment of drunkenness where it’s revealed that he hasn’t been truthful throughout why he originally gave up booze. In vino veritas, as the revealing goes.
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