'shoplifters' is the film to warm you during the cold weather

It’s the first non-anime Japanese film to gross over $2 million internationally in over 20 years.

by Jack Sunnucks
18 January 2019, 9:40pm

Image courtesy of Magnolia Pictures 

If you haven’t seen Shoplifters yet, you’ve been missing out on the perfect opportunity to have a really intense ugly-cry. Hirokazu Kore’s 2018 film follows an impoverished Tokyo family who get along by shoplifting — on a particularly cold night, they find an abandoned little girl and take her in. The events that follow can be filed under the “No good deed goes unpunished” genre, as the group find themselves at the center of a media maelstrom for their actions after they’re accused of stealing her. After winning the Palme D’or at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, it now turns out that it’s been a commercial success too. On Thursday it was reported that the film has made more than $2 million, and thus alongside Fantastic Woman is one of the highest grossing foreign language films of 2018. “We knew from festival screenings that audiences really loved the movie, so we just trusted that if we made it available people would seek it out,” Neal Block, head of distribution at indie distributors Magnolia, told Variety. This is the first time a Japanese film has made more than $2 million internationally since 1985’s Ran, by the legendary Akira Kurosawa. Whether this means it’ll get nominated for an Oscar remains to be seen, but we hope so.

japanese cinema