Hollywood Insider - News Entertainment & Culture

Substance & Meaningful Entertainment

Against Gossip & Scandal

Independent Media Network

Global Stories From Local Perspective

Factual Culture News

The Hollywood Insider True Mothers Review, Japanese

Photo: ‘True Mothers’

A Tragedy in the Making

We have two mothers, except one has the other’s child. If ‘True Mothers’ was an American film, conceived with American values in mind, the conflict would probably play out a fair bit differently. Infertility isn’t so much a taboo here, and there isn’t as strong a societal urge to make sure babies are made. Frankly, I myself am more likely to have a dog than a kid, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But ‘True Mothers’ takes place in Japan, where the birth rate has been dismally low in recent years, and shows little sign of getting better; therefore, every baby born feels like more of an event, whether the pregnancy was wanted or not.

Related article: OSCAR-NOMINATED – EXCLUSIVE: ‘Dune’ Full Commentary, Reactions, Making Of – Timothee Chalamet, Zendaya, Oscar Isaac

Related article: OSCAR-NOMINATED – ‘House of Gucci’ Full Commentary & Behind the Scenes – Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Jared Leto, Al Pacino

Related article: OSCAR-NOMINATED – ‘Belfast’ Full Commentary & BTS – Jamie Dornan, Caitriona Balfe, Judi Dench

Related article: OSCAR-NOMINATED – ‘West Side Story’ Full Commentary – Rita Moreno, Steven Spielberg, Rachel Zegler

Related article: OSCAR-NOMINATED – ‘No Time to Die’ Full Commentary, Behind the Scenes & Reactions, Daniel Craig, Rami Malek, Bond

The film has a dual narrative, jumping back and forth between Satoko, a well-off woman with a loving husband who nonetheless can’t get pregnant due to her husband’s infertility, and Hikari, a young woman who is haunted by a pregnancy she went through when she was very young. Hikari gave up Asato, her son, when he was an infant, and entered into a program where couples with fertility issues can adopt unwanted children. The question of fertility (both biological and spiritual) dominates ‘True Mothers’, a movie where both sides have a valid argument, and a reason to deserve happiness. There are American movies where the child is shown to be clearly better off in the hands of the adoptive parents than the birth mother, but ‘True Mothers’ takes a more nuanced approach by showing us, right from the outset, that Asato’s life is far from perfect.

Related article: The Hollywood Insider’s CEO Pritan Ambroase: “The Importance of Venice Film Festival as the Protector of Cinema”

Related article: The Masters of Cinema Archives: The Hollywood Insider Pays Tribute to ‘La Vie En Rose’, Exclusive Interview with Director Olivier Dahan

Related article: – Want GUARANTEED SUCCESS? Remove these ten words from your vocabulary| Transform your life INSTANTLY

A Woman’s Film About Women’s Issues

I may have heard of director Naomi Kawase before, but this is my first exposure to her work. Kawase has apparently been making a name for herself for the past two decades or so as one of Japan’s more soft-spoken auteurs, painting somber pictures of modern Japanese life. Her efforts put her more in line with Hirokazu Kore-eda (winner of the Palme d’Or at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival for ‘Shoplifters’), who similarly has a humanistic voice, albeit a more heightened one. While ‘True Mothers’ is slightly experimental in structure by using extensive flashbacks, it at times almost feels like a documentary with how actors are shown in close-ups, talking to characters who are off-screen (like interviewers in a documentary), every blemish on their faces visible, like there was a deliberate decision to use as little makeup as possible.

Related article: All Best Actor/Actress Speeches From The Beginning Of Oscars 1929-2019 | Hollywood Insider

Related article: EVOLUTION: Every Henry Cavill Role From 2001 to 2021, All Performances Exceptionally Poignant

Related article: EVOLUTION: Every Chris Evans Role From 1997 to 2020, All Performances Exceptionally Poignant

Related article: ‘In the Heights’ Full Commentary & Behind the Scenes +  Reactions – Lin Manuel Miranda, John M. Chu

I’m sure that a film with this particular subject matter is made available for streaming in the U.S. right now is coincidental since it was set to premiere on the Criterion Channel since at least April — still, with the recent leak about the Supreme Court’s disastrous decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, it feels extra-powerful in what has quickly become an uncertain time for people capable of giving birth in this country. I don’t get to talk about overtly feminist Cinema often because, well, that’s usually not territory I cover; it doesn’t help that very few major studio productions actually conceive female characters well. If you want something off the beaten path, but still accessible and humble enough, all while knowing what it’s about, then ‘True Mothers’ should be somewhat high on your list.

Related article: Why Queen Elizabeth II Is One Of The Greatest Monarchs | Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of United Queendom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (Video Insight)

Limited Time Offer – FREE Subscription to The Hollywood Insider

Click here to read more on The Hollywood Insider’s vision, values and mission statement here – Media has the responsibility to better our world – The Hollywood Insider fully focuses on substance and meaningful entertainment, against gossip and scandal, by combining entertainment, education, and philanthropy.

‘True Mothers’: More Is Sometimes Less

The major problem with this movie is that (and I hate to say this) it is simply too long. Now, I usually don’t hold a movie’s length against it; there is, after all, a saying that no good movie is too long, and no bad movie is too short. I’m not in agreement with this sentiment, since I do think that a good movie could be made better by a tighter runtime, as is the case with ‘True Mothers’, which, at 140 minutes, doesn’t quite justify its length. We have a drama featuring a handful of key characters, jumping back and forth in time to tell the stories of Satoko and especially Hikari, which has a pretty simple narrative when all is said and done. There are ways to justify length aside from a story’s complexity, but as I’ve said before, the filmmaking of ‘True Mothers’ is rather down-to-earth — a weird mix between a pseudo-documentary and a slow-burning melodrama.

Related article: MUST WATCH – The Hollywood Insider’s CEO Pritan Ambroase’s Love Letter to Black Lives Matter – VIDEO

Subscribe to The Hollywood Insider’s YouTube Channel, by clicking here.

Related article: #metoo Revolution: Powerful Questions That Need Answers

Related article: FACT-CHECKED Series: Timothee Chalamet and 32 Facts about The Young Superstar

What strikes me as most inexcusable with regards to the film’s length is that through all this, we get very little in the way of Asato’s take on things. In a slightly altered timeline to ours, we would’ve gotten a version of ‘True Mothers’ where the point-of-view character is Asato, and not Satoko or Hikari; this is a contentious opinion, since Asato is, after all, a grand total of five or six years old. I would argue, though, that telling a story through a child’s eyes can invoke a certain emotional resonance, since we associate childhood with nostalgia — and nostalgia is a heck of a drug. I’m thinking of ‘Where the Wild Things Are’, Spike Jonze’s most underappreciated film, and how that movie wouldn’t even function on a basic level if not for being Max’s story. ‘True Mothers’ is about mothers who each have a legitimate claim to parenthood, but we never really get a word from the person whose life is the most at stake here.

As an introduction to Cinema that is more relaxed in its pacing, as well as serious in its subject matter, you can do much worse than ‘True Mothers.’ It was Japan’s submission for Best International Feature at the 2021 Academy Awards, and while it wasn’t nominated, it would not have raised eyebrows if it had made the shortlist. I do, however, think that such a technically unexceptional movie as ‘True Mothers’ would get utterly blown out of the water by what did end up being Japan’s submission for the following year, Ryûsuke Hamaguchi’sDrive My Car’, which really is a masterfully crafted film.

‘True Mothers’ premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2020, but was only made available for streaming stateside in 2022. It’s available on the Criterion Channel.

CAST: Hiromi Nagasaku, Arata Iura, Aju Makita, Miyoko Asada

CREW: Director: Naomi Kawase, Writers: Naomi Kawase, Izumi Takahashi, Producers: Yumiko Takebe, Naoya Kinoshita, Editors: Tina Baz, Roman Dymny, Yôichi Shibuya

By Brian Collins

Click here to read The Hollywood Insider’s CEO Pritan Ambroase’s love letter to Cinema, TV and Media. An excerpt from the love letter: The Hollywood Insider’s CEO/editor-in-chief Pritan Ambroase affirms, We have the space and time for all your stories, no matter who/what/where you are. Media/Cinema/TV have a responsibility to better the world and The Hollywood Insider will continue to do so. Talent, diversity and authenticity matter in Cinema/TV, media and storytelling. In fact, I reckon that we should announce “talent-diversity-authenticity-storytelling-Cinema-Oscars-Academy-Awards” as synonyms of each other. We show respect to talent and stories regardless of their skin color, race, gender, sexuality, religion, nationality, etc., thus allowing authenticity into this system just by something as simple as accepting and showing respect to the human species’ factual diversity. We become greater just by respecting and appreciating talent in all its shapes, sizes, and forms. Award winners, which includes nominees, must be chosen on the greatness of their talent ALONE.

I am sure I am speaking for a multitude of Cinema lovers all over the world when I speak of the following sentiments that this medium of art has blessed me with. Cinema taught me about our world, at times in English and at times through the beautiful one-inch bar of subtitles. I learned from the stories in the global movies that we are all alike across all borders. Remember that one of the best symbols of many great civilizations and their prosperity has been the art they have left behind. This art can be in the form of paintings, sculptures, architecture, writings, inventions, etc. For our modern society, Cinema happens to be one of them. Cinema is more than just a form of entertainment, it is an integral part of society. I love the world uniting, be it for Cinema, TV. media, art, fashion, sport, etc. Please keep this going full speed.

More Interesting Stories From The Hollywood Insider

Want GUARANTEED SUCCESS? Remove these ten words from your vocabulary| Transform your life INSTANTLY

A Tribute to Martin Scorsese: A Complete Analysis of the Life and Career of the Man Who Lives and Breathes Cinema 

Do you know the hidden messages in ‘Call Me By Your Name’? Find out behind the scenes facts in the full commentary and In-depth analysis of the cinematic masterpiece

A Tribute To The Academy Awards: All Best Actor/Actress Speeches From The Beginning Of Oscars 1929-2019 | From Rami Malek, Leonardo DiCaprio To Denzel Washington, Halle Berry & Beyond | From Olivia Colman, Meryl Streep To Bette Davis & Beyond

In the 32nd Year Of His Career, Keanu Reeves’ Face Continues To Reign After Launching Movies Earning Over $4.3 Billion In Total – “John Wick”, “Toy Story 4”, “Matrix”, And Many More

true mothers, true mothers, true mothers, true mothers, true mothers, true mothers, true mothers, true mothers, true mothers, true mothers, true mothers, true mothers, true mothers, true mothers, true mothers, true mothers, true mothers, true mothers, true mothers, true mothers, true mothers

Website It Up