‘Monster’ trailer: Hirokazu Kore-eda returns with a tense drama


A still from the trailer for ‘Monster’

A still from the trailer for ‘Monster’

Japanese auteur Hirokazu Kore-eda’s new feature Monster will open in theatres in the US on November 22. An official poster and trailer for the film were recently released.

Written by Yuji Sakamoto, Monster won the Best Screenplay Award at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year. It’s the first Kore-eda film, since his directorial debut Maborosi (1995), that he has not scripted himself. It follows a single mother, Saori (Shoplifter’s Sakura Ando), and her quest for answers after her son begins to exhibit violent and unstable behavior at school and home. Eita Nagayama plays the lean middle school teacher at the centre of Saori’s doubts and accusations.

The official poster of ‘Monster’

The official poster of ‘Monster’

“When her young son Minato starts to behave strangely, his mother feels that there is something wrong. Discovering that a teacher is responsible, she storms into the school demanding to know what’s going on. But as the story unfolds through the eyes of mother, teacher and child, the truth gradually emerges,” reads the film’s synopsis.

Monster is the last film to be scored by late Oscar-winning composer Ryuichi Sakamoto, who passed away in March. It’s the first Japanese-language feature film Kore-eda has directed since his Palme d’Or-winning Shoplifters in 2018. His last two films, 2019’s The Truth and 2022’s Broker, were set in France and South Korea respectively. He also directed the first two episodes of the Japanese-language Netflix series The Makanai: Cooking for the Maiko House(2023).

Besides the Best Screenplay nod, Monster also picked up the Queer Palm prize at the 76th Cannes Film Festival. The Queer Palm honours a film with LGBTQIA-relevant themes in the Cannes lineup. It is not part of the main awards and is decided by an independent jury.


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