Posts Tagged ‘sarah polley’

Daughter and dad: Sarah and Michael Polley

Daughter and dad: Sarah and Michael Polley

“STORIES WE TELL”  My rating: B+  (Opening June 7 at the Tivoli )

108 minutes | MPAA rating: PG-13

Over the last 20 years we’ve grown accustomed to the “personal documentary” in which a filmmaker’s own life becomes the subject of his/her nonfiction film. Standout examples include Ross McElwee’s “Sherman’s March” and Jonathan Caouette’s “Tarnation.”

But I cannot recall anything quite like Sarah Polley’s “Stories We Tell,” an investigation into the secrets of her family, her parents’ marriage and her own birth.

Polley is, of course, the Canadian actress (“Dawn of the Dead,” “The Sweet Hereafter”) who has established herself as a very promising director with “Away from Her” (a superb film about Alzheimer’s) and “Take This Waltz” (about an unfaithful wife…I was less enraptured of that one).

“Stories We Tell” begins with Polley accompanying an elderly man up several flights of stairs to a Toronto recording studio. The man is her father, Michael Polley, an actor, who sits before a microphone reading from his own memoir about his marriage to Diane Polley, Sarah’s late mother.

We quickly learn that we’ll be hearing family stories from others of the Polley clan, including Sarah’s two sisters and two brothers, who submit to “interrogation” by their younger sibling with varying degrees of charm and discomfort. Also testifying are aunts, uncles, family friends, and others.


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