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‘Monster’: Hirokazu Kore-Eda Drama Receives Six-Minute Standing Ovation At Cannes World Premiere

Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-Eda’s seventh go-round in Cannes competition, Monster, received a six-minute standing ovation Wednesday in the Grand Theatre Lumiere. He won the Palme d’Or back in 2018 for Shoplifters. Can he do it again?

Kore-Eda spoke in Japanese: “Thank you. Some people couldn’t be here. Can’t wait to go back to Japan and show them the film…tell them about this absolutely wonderful premiere. It will stay in my heart.”

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It’s the filmmaker’s ninth movie overall at the fest (counting two that appeared in Un Certain Regard). Monster is his first movie since his 1995 debut feature Maborosi that the director has not had a screenplay credit on.

Monster follows Saori (Ando Sakura), a take-no-prisoners widowed mother, who is now bringing up her son Minato (Kurokawa Soya) who is weathering tough times in his elementary school. Mom learns that son’s odd behavior may have to do with his teach, who Minato says hit him. The pic is told in Rashoman style from several different points of view, including that of the teacher, Hori (Nagayama Eita), Minato and his friend Yori (Hiiragi Hinata).

Pete Hammond’s review tonight says, Monster is “a film that wraps itself in secrets and lies, the truth landing in gray areas depending on who has the focus at any given moment. Family, as it often does in Kore-Eda’s films, plays a big part here as well as the lasting effects of grief and the divisions and walls we build for ourselves.”

Monster also reps the final film for late Oscar-winning film composer Ryuichi Sakamoto.

RELATED: Hirokazu Kore-Eda On Working With Late Composer Ryuichi Sakamoto And Reteaming With ‘Shoplifters’ Actress Sakura Ando On His New Cannes Movie ‘Monster’

Kore-Eda took home the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury last year at Cannes for another family drama, Broker, which centers around abandoned babies and those who find homes for them. He won the Jury Prize in 2013 for Like Father, Like Son, which also received the Ecumenical Jury Prize.

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