Magnolia Pictures has acquired North American rights to Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda’s new drama “Shoplifters” following its premiere this week in competition at the Cannes Film Festival, the company announced Friday.
Magnolia, which had previously released the director’s film “I Wish,” did not disclose terms of the deal.
The drama follows a father and son team of shoplifters who come across a little girl in the freezing cold. At first reluctant to shelter the girl, Osamu’s wife agrees to take care of her after learning of the hardships she faces. Although the family is poor, barely making enough money to survive through petty crime, they seem to live happily together until an unforeseen incident reveals hidden secrets, testing the bonds that unite them.
TheWrap critic Ben Croll hailed “Shoplifters” as Kore-eda’s “richest film to date” in a career that has seen six previous films screen at Cannes. “Not only does ‘Shoplifters’ skillfully entwine several disparate threads he’s explored over his prolific career, it does so with the understated confidence and patient elegance of an artist who has fully matured,” Croll wrote.
Kore-eda wrote, directed and edited the film, which was produced by Kaoru Matsuzaki, Akihiko Yose and Hijiri Taguchi. Executive producers are Takashi Ishihara, Tom Yoda and Yasuhito Nakae.
“In a long career of incredible peaks, Hirokazu Kore-eda has delivered one of his best works,” Magnolia President Eamonn Bowles said in a statement. “‘Shoplifters’ is an incredible story that deals with familial bonds in a way I’ve never seen before.”