Sundance Film Review: Stories We Tell

Posted January 22, 2013 in
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Director Sarah Polley, Photo Credit: Courtesy Roadside Attractions

Stories We Tell

Sundance Film Festival

Director: Sarah Polley

In this unique and introspective documentary, Canadian actress/director Sarah Polley (Away From Her, Take This Waltz) compiles a narrative around the life of her mother, actress Diane Polley, who died when Sarah was 11 years old, and the mystery surrounding a specific time period, which leads to a surprising discovery. The film features lengthy, heartfelt interviews with all of her siblings and some of her mother's friends and colleagues, along with home video footage and shots of her father, Michael, narrating his "side of the story" in a sound studio. Polley's focus is incredibly intimate, which comes off a little masterbatory at times, but feels sincere and her family is warm, open and amiable. It could definitely use some additional cuts, though, as it comes in at nearly two hours. At the halfway point, it started to feel like I was looking through a friend's entire collection of family video while their grandpa droned on and on––we've all been subjected or been the subjectors of a "baby book" moment, and two hours is too much if there's no blood and guts involved. However, I did leave the theater with a renewed desire to revisit my family history. Overall, it was a very well done documentary that was both interesting and inspiring, but probably not a film you'd want to spend too much time waiting in line for.



Time: 1.22, 8:30 PM Venue: Library Centre Theare, Park City

Time: 1.24, 12:00 PM Venue: Temple Theatre, Park City


Director Sarah Polley, Photo Credit: Courtesy Roadside Attractions