Sundance Film Review: The Tale

Posted By admin on February 9, 2018 7:30pm

By: Brittany Conrad

Laura Dern shines in Jennifer Fox’s The Tale, powerful memoir-like narrative of her own sexual abuse. The Tale is the story of blurred memory and stolen innocence. Told throughout the course of journalist Jennifer’s life, she begins to investigate her past after her mother (Ellen Burstyn) confronts her about a story she wrote at the age of 13. This story details her experience with her older running coach, and the mesmerizing horseback riding instructor who introduced them. The Tale explores what it means to put memory to test when it comes to the stories of our lives. Jennifer has always admitted her first relationship to be one with an older man, but it is with her mother’s guilt and concern that she is fired to confront her memories and see the situation for what it was. Using vivid imagery and striking structure through flashbacks, Fox shows how the past can be morphed in one’s mind.

Can a child be expected to remember things as they were, or do we morph our perception into something a bit distorted? When it comes to rape, is it possible that the child never really saw it as rape in the first place? In a moving performance by an ensemble cast, The Tale, shines as a story at once compelling and moving. In a time when sexual abuse is at an all time high, Fox brings serious issue to light.

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