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The Tale (2018)

Director:
Jennifer Fox
COUNTRY
USA
GENRE
Drama
NORWEGIAN TITLE
The Tale

RUNNING TIME
114 minutes

RELEASED BY
HBO
Producer:
Jennifer Fox
Oren Moverman
Laura Rister
Mynette Louie
Simone Pero
Lawrence Inglee
Sol Bondy
Regina K. Scully
Lynda Weinman
Reka Posta
Screenwriter:
Jennifer Fox


Cast includes:

CHARACTER ACTOR/ACTRESS RATING
Jennifer Laura Dern ˝
Bill Jason Ritter ˝
Martin Common ˝
Mrs. G Elizabeth Debicki ˝
Jenny at 15 Jessica Sarah Flaum
Young Nettie Laura Allen
Grandmother Juli Erickson
Aaron Matthew Rauch
Nettie Ellen Burstyn ˝
William P. Allens John Heard
Dr. G Dana Healey
Raymond Aaron Williamson
Jenny at 13 Isabelle Nélisse

 

Review

In this autobiographical film written and directed by Jennifer Fox, we're taken on a soul-searching memory-travel together with the Jenny character, played by Laura Dern in present time and by Isabelle Nélisse in flashback scenes. Fox' starting point here is our untrustworthy memory, and how it may have processed and stored experiences and situations in order to protect us, or for us to perservere. This idea is not novel, but Fox' way of presenting it cinematically via various flashback scenes and alternate versions of storylines is a little bit groundbreaking. Whether or not it works for you probably depends on whether you're interested in the concept itself. And to make matters even more challenging, the main subject of Jenny's childhood is her special relationship with two adult coaches: her riding instructor Mrs. G (Elisabeth Debicki) and her running coach Bill (Jason Ritter).

The Tale is an ambitious, stripped-down dissection of the protagonist's childhood/adolescence. It's unapologetic and harsh. And – more importantly – largely uninterested in what society or other interested or semi-interested parties may have to say. This is Jenny Fox' story, and she – both the character and the filmmaker – takes full ownership over it. The film is crowned by magnificent performances. Laura Dern, Isabelle Nélisse, Ellen Burstyn and Jason Ritter both put their heart and soul into their parts. Nélisse is a special talent with more sensibility than one can reasonably expect from someone her age. And Ritter gives Bill a humanity and fragility which usually is unheard of in parts like his. There's also fine acting Elizabeth Debicki and Frances Conroy as Mrs. G. The movie won the Satellite Award for Best Television Film. Filmed in 2015.

Copyright © 22.01.2020 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang

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