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  1. Published on: 07/02/2019 08:45 PMReported by: Film Critic
    Plot: A family of small-time crooks take a child in that was being neglected.

    I'm always unsure what to expect when seeing a Palme d'Or winner, as I don't always go nuts for them.

    Most of the recent winners I have found to be really good, so a part of me was excited to see it. Especially, when I was see this at a film festival as the closing film, which last years closer won the audience award.

    It starts off with a cool opening scene that what I felt to set the tone. But it would be a while before the pacing would match its beginning.
    Most of the film was a slow-burner, but not a completely effective one.

    But whilst there were a healthy amount of sweet character moments, some of its supposed heartfelt moments just weren't impacting me enough to be totally won over.
    It certainly went in directions I was not expecting and there was a certain amount of profoundness. But only up to a point.

    I think pretty much all of the main performances did a pretty good job. All of them had enough development to shine and every protagonist made the most of it. I liked Kirin Kaki's attitude and love for the other characters was great to see, Lily Franky's coolness was shown rather well with many memorable scenes and I also felt Sakura Ando and Maru Matsuoka made good use of the development they were given.
    But by far the stars of the show were kid actors Jyo Kairi and Miyu Sasaki. Their innocence, sweetness, chemistry together and strong emotional moments made them easily the most engaging aspect of the story.

    What I definitely liked the most outside of the performances was the general camaraderie between our protagonists. It was sweet, funny, inspiring and sympathetic. I just wish there was enough coherent content involving them which would have made me care for them even more.
    I liked how the look of the film portrayed the situation our characters were facing really well. You could feel the cramped space in their living quarters and some of the jobs they were forced to take in order to get some money. It made it easy to root for them and the addition of the effective script made them very likable and relatable people.

    The main reasons for me not feeling the same way about the awards that it has won, was probably the pacing and the lack of fulfillment in the themes. It has a slow vibe and that doesn't always work with me. This particular film was not a total failure, but there were plenty of times when the momentum of the film was lost with me. As for its themes, I was fine with it. But I think the level of profoundness was not as grand as it thinks it was. There were noticeable moments that we were meant for feel emotional in them, and I just did not quite feel enough of that vibe.

    So while there is good stuff in here, I liked but didn't love the overall product. It doesn't help when there are a fair amount of stronger films in my opinion that were nominated for the Palme d'Or and lost to this film.
    The strength within this misfit family was good to see with some great sweet moments between the kid actors.

    However, I think the pacing and structure of the film does did not make me go nuts for it. It was slow at times and the disjointed pacing never made me heavily invested in the story. But thankfully, the performances gave me plenty to like about it and give it a respectable rating.

    Rating: 7/10
    Last edited by Film Critic; 17/02/2019 at 08:32 PM.

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