The Tale

2018 "Our past is always present"
7.2| 1h55m| R| en| More Info
Released: 20 January 2018 Released
Producted By: ARTE
Country: United States of America
Budget: 0
Revenue: 0
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An investigation into one woman’s memory as she‘s forced to re-examine her first sexual relationship and the stories we tell ourselves in order to survive.


Drama, Mystery

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Jennifer Fox

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The Tale Audience Reviews

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Linbeymusol Wonderful character development!
Plustown A lot of perfectly good film show their cards early, establish a unique premise and let the audience explore a topic at a leisurely pace, without much in terms of surprise. this film is not one of those films.
Allison Davies The film never slows down or bores, plunging from one harrowing sequence to the next.
Zlatica One of the worst ways to make a cult movie is to set out to make a cult movie.
zkonedog When reviewing a film like "The Tale", I want to be careful in quantifying some of my statements. In an era in which women are much more empowered to tell their stories of abuse (sexual or otherwise) and confront their tormentors, movies like this are important to be made/seen. Even more unique/impressive is the fact that director & writer Jennifer Fox is actually telling her own story in this case. As such, despite the fact that I didn't find "The Tale" to perhaps be as gripping as I thought it could/should, I would never say it isn't important or made from a well-meaning place.For a basic plot summary, "The Tale" tells the story of Jennifer (Laura Dern), a videographer who out-of-the-blue is drawn back into her past where as a 13-year old (played by Isabelle Nelisse) she was sexually coerced/assaulted by her track and field coach Bill (Jason Ritter). All the while, her equestrian mentor Mrs. G (Elizabeth Debicki) sat back and let it happen, while mother Nettie (Laura Allen & Ellen Burstyn) never quite put all the pieces together until it was far too late. Now an adult, Jennifer must deal with those events in order to feel authentic in front of her classes of students.In terms of overall material and the emotion it contains, this is an excellent and heartbreaking film. It pulls absolutely no punches and really feels authentic (the costumes/sets of the 70s add realism). In short, the production value here is wonderful, as befitting a film with HBO backing.My main problem with "The Tale", however, is that I felt the narrative tricks it used to tell the story were at best confusing and at worse distracting from the overall emotion of the piece. There are times where grown-up Jennifer will converse with young-Jennie, as well as other cross-time interactions that obviously aren't actually happening but are portrayed as Jennifer's inter-ruminations. Instead of deepening the emotion for me, what this ended up doing was confusing what the overall take-home message of the film was supposed to be. I really struggled to get much past "it was a horrible/wrong thing to have happen" even though I know Fox is hinting at more deeper themes.One standout of the whole thing, though, is Dern absolutely acting her heart out in every scene she is in. None of my narrative confusion can be pinned on the acting in this one, as I found it to be really solid and, in Dern's case, spectacular. It's amazing to think that she has been working almost nonstop since Jurassic Park!So, overall I put "The Tale" at 6/10 stars, with the caveat that I think the importance of what is being conveyed throughout the film likely transcends how objectively "good" it actually ends up being.
e-70733 The self-reflection of the victim has become the first step in redemption. The healing of universal pain has become an artistic source through subjective recall. The film finds a mainstream breakthrough between the social accountability of realism and the self-deconstruction of modernism, which is neither cynical nor contemptuous. Of course, the effect of the "extreme" finish on both sides may be somewhat tricky, but it is still sufficiently self-consistent in the original context of the film.
namashi_1 Some True-Stories demand to be told, despite their heartbreaking, heart-wrenching reality and 'The Tale' is among those films. This Stunning film registers a sledgehammer impact & the exquisite Laura Dern delivers a performance of pure force. 'The Tale' is an investigation into one woman's memory as she is forced to re-examine her first sexual relationship and the stories we tell ourselves in order to survive.'The Tale' is a true-story & what you see here, is something so disturbing, that it will leave you shaken. Pedophilia is a serious crime & Pedophiles are among the most brutal creatures out there, who are out to harm, manipulate & destroy the lives of children living in our society. Written and Directed by Jennifer Fox, 'The Tale' is Fox's true life-story on the sexual abuse she faced during her childhood & her life beyond. Fox is a brave, gutsy woman, who's made a film of her own horrors & has presented us a story that's disturbing as well as powerful. Here's a woman who's courage needs to be witnessed, spoken & shown. We can no longer let these beasts abuse the underage. Enough!'The Tale' is also packed with stunning performances, led by the magnificent Laura Dern. Dern, One Of The Finest Actresses of All-Times, portrays Jennifer Fox with sheer heart, mind & soul. Its a performance built in force & executed in exuberance. Dern is a force of nature & 'The Tale' Salutes talent to the maximum. Isabelle Nélisse, as the younger Jennifer Fox, is extraordinary. Of the supporting cast, The Legendary Ellen Burstyn does a wonderful job as Fox's Mother, who must accept what has been happened & yet not lose her conscience. Jason Ritter portrays the evil pedophile, astonishingly. His performance is as real as it can get. Elizabeth Debicki does an excellent job as Fox's childhood idol, who has much more to say & do, than it seems. Frances Conroy portrays Debicki's older version with command. The Late/Great John Heard, as the older Ritter, is beyond perfection in a brief appearance.On the whole, 'The Tale' is a true-story that needs to be seen, for its courage & the horror that happened. Don't Miss It. And to the courageous Jennifer Fox...Salute!
stevejwacfield It's hard to imagine a better telling of such a necessary story. It's so real you can almost hear the anguished heartbeat leaping from the page, the breath, the gasps of reality when truths are revealed. The writing is exceptional, so too the directing, and matched with magnificent acting. Laura Dern is a revelation. Or should I say, she is finally getting the credit she deserves after Enlightened and Big Little Lies, what she brought to The Last Jedi. Her acting is organic and mesmerizing to the point where you're watching her every move, feeling her every emotion. However, it can not be stated enough that it is the sheer importance of this exquisite telling of a tale of abuse, that resonates above all else. Should definitely be considered for when award season comes around. Quite simply, brilliant.