Hirokazu Kore-eda became one of the favorite filmmakers at the Cannes Film Festival. Winning the Palme d’or for A Family Affair in 2018, he returned to the competition for a film very similar to the idea, but this time shot in Korea and with Korean actors including Parasite star Song Kang-ho. .
Kore-eda loves family stories that don’t. At least, in the most basic sense of the word, that is, people related to blood. on The Beautiful Stars, we met a young woman who left her baby in a “baby box”, a real social event after South Korea’s restricted adoption access. Except it was recovered by two boys (including Song Kang-ho) who wanted to find new parents for this newborn for a fee. The confusions of history (the return of the mother and the arrival of a wise and funny orphan) will soon lead to a small family being formed around these two characters.
With great delicacy
The dangerous mise-en-scène is almost useless when it comes to filmmaker Kore-eda. He has a keen sense of composition, narration and above all of humanity, which allows him to approach each new film with both visual and emotional tenderness.. Imperfect, the characters are made only to express their humanity.
Kore-eda didn’t hide her call on the soundtrack Magnolia, Paul Thomas Anderson’s river movie, during a series all about mentioning his older brother. In the end, he clearly showed his intentions: he wanted to achieve his Magnolia. Because both stories share the same backbone of interconnected fates filled with a deep personality and an unconditional love for the characters. In this he succeeded in making beautiful stars a beautiful tribute while a completely different film in its own right.
Too good feelings
The progression of the story is not without its flaws. In fact – and contrary to the usual – it tends to make writing skills visible and sometimes loses its realistic accuracy in favor of a pure film story. It’s a complicated balance between two aspects that don’t have to go hand in hand. However, Kore-eda escaped the awards, but she could not be as organic in her treatment as for A family thing.
In addition, he supports his point with greater speed and good feelings. Kore-eda enjoys revealing the humanity of her characters so much that she erases their dark sides.. Let’s measure the problem simply by Song Kang -ko’s behavior of selling children, which is illegal (what a discovery!) And morally questionable – and this despite the fact that he also seeks to avoid their orphanage. . However, this aspect is easily sidelined to show only the positive aspects of the person and his actions. Paradoxically, by proposing a story that is not as Manichean at first glance, it nonetheless turns out to be so. The difference with most of the film’s stories? All good and even bad deeds (from an external point of view) find a reasonable reason (at the same time there is something reassuring in this worldview).
But none of this can escape the fact that The Beautiful Stars a very nice film, touching and funny. It’s embarrassing to deny yourself.
Les Belles étoiles was presented in the official competition at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival and will be released in theaters on December 7, 2022.
Without his biggest film, Kore-eda offers a soft, funny and intelligent film. In short, don’t forget!