The Third Murder
Critic's Choice Spotlight: Dave Taylor • Crime, Drama, Mystery
When high-powered attorney Shigemori (Masaharu Fukuyama) takes on the defense of murder-robbery suspect Misumi (Kōji Yakusho), he does so with reluctance, knowing that the man already provided a full confession and had been previously convicted of murder thirty years earlier. But as he digs deeper into the evidence and hears Misumi’s own conflicting testimony, the once confident Shigemori begins to doubt whether his client could be the murderer after all.
A striking departure in genre and tone from Palme d’Or winner Hirokazu Kore-eda (After the Storm), this gripping and morally complex crime procedural had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival and went on to win six Japanese Academy Awards.
“Hauntingly beautiful…What’s remarkable about THE THIRD MURDER is its density (so many provocative themes bubbling beneath a placid surface); intensity (conversations between lawyer and client, on opposite sides of the glass, are truly spellbinding); cast of intriguing characters (the factory owner’s wife and daughter, the lawyer’s own daughter, who shocks him by producing tears of ostensible grief on command); shimmering ambiguity (although the climactic scene, if I read it right, carries intimations of clarity); and formal elegance (the CinemaScope format of Mikiya Takimoto’s cinematography gives those detention-center conversations an expansive gravity)… It’s the work of a contemporary master who arrives at the philosophical by way of the playful, ironic and lyrical.” –Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal
DIRECTED BY HIROKAZU KORE-EDA
JAPAN | 2017 | JAPANESE WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES