Stories We Tell Stories We Tell , the third feature directed by Sarah Polley ( Away From Her ), takes the proposition that reality is more dramatic than… Stories We Tell Stories We Tell , the third feature directed by Sarah Polley ( Away From Her ), takes the proposition that reality is more dramatic than… 2013-05-17 PG-13 PT108M Documentary Roadside Attractions
Movie Review

Stories We Tell (2013)

MPAA Rating: PG-13
STORYTELLER Sarah Polley heads back behind the camera for this documentary based on her own family
Image credit: Roadside Attractions
STORYTELLER Sarah Polley heads back behind the camera for this documentary based on her own family
EW's GRADE
A-

Details Limited Release: May 17, 2013; Rated: PG-13; Length: 108 Minutes; Genre: Documentary; Distributor: Roadside Attractions

Stories We Tell, the third feature directed by Sarah Polley (Away From Her), takes the proposition that reality is more dramatic than fiction and tests it out in a startlingly original, even head-spinning way. For most of the movie, we're watching a documentary of family secrets made in the dark, confessional, into-the-abyss spirit of Capturing the Friedmans. The film's central figure, though long deceased, is Polley's own mother, Diane, whom we see in Super-8 home-movie footage, and who's described as a free spirit stuck in a life that couldn't contain her. Her marriage to Michael, a dashing actor she met in 1965 when they were in a play together, cools off pretty fast, and both he and Polley's adult siblings speak candidly of Diane's hidden pleasures and torments: the lovers she took, the kids from an earlier marriage she lost custody of.

The film's big revelation (it involves not only Diane but also Sarah Polley herself) has the kick of a mule. Yet while we're marveling at (and perhaps identifying with) the soap opera twists and hidden emotional depths of ''ordinary'' lives, Polley plays a different sort of game, deconstructing the story she's telling — or, rather, demonstrating how our memories live on as subjective stories, although the events actually happened. By the end, the rug gets pulled out from under us, showing that even the reality we think we see may be an illusion. A-

Originally posted May 08, 2013 Published in issue #1259 May 17, 2013 Order article reprints
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Weekend of Sep 14 Box Office Source: Rentrak Corp.
Rank Title Weekend Gross* Weeks on Chart Cume. Gross* EW Grade
1.
No Good Deed
Screen Gems
$24.5 1 $24.5 C
2.
Dolphin Tale 2
Warner Bros.
$16.5 1 $16.5 C+
3.
Guardians of the Galaxy
Walt Disney Pictures
$8.0 7 $305.9 A-
4. $4.8 6 $181.0 C+
5. $4.3 5 $73.0 F
6.
The Drop
Fox Searchlight
$4.2 1 $4.2 B
7.
If I Stay
Warner Bros.
$4.0 4 $44.9 C-
8.
The November Man
Relativity
$2.7 3 $22.5 C
9.
The Giver
Weinstein Co.
$2.6 5 $41.3 C-
10.
The Hundred-Foot Journey
Walt Disney Pictures
$2.5 6 $49.4 B
* in millions

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