Sarah Polley

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Sarah Polley Stories We Tell

Stories we Tell made a splash at last year’s Telluride. Now, the official reviews are coming up roses as the film sets to open. This is a film you should know as little about as possible before seeing it. It will no doubt be one of the best films of 2013 without breaking a sweat.

Stephanie Zacharek, now writing for the Village Voice, notices what New York Mag’s David Edelstein didn’t – she recognizes that Stories we Tell is Polley’s own:

It’s probably safe, at this point, to consider Polley a “Who knows what she’ll do next?” filmmaker, à la Michael Winterbottom. But Stories We Tell is so ingeniously constructed—and so nakedly intimate—that it may be a watershed. Polley has to execute a particularly delicate dance when it comes to dealing with the movie’s two significant father figures: Reticent, undemonstrative Michael, the man Polley has always considered her father, and the far more outgoing Harry Gulkin, a film producer who plays a pivotal role in this extremely tangled tale. Both men were dazzled by Diane in their youth, and neither has fully recovered from that love—although both failed to give her that elusive something she so desperately wanted out of life.

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William Blake once wrote that exuberance is beauty. Despite the success of Ben Affleck’s Argo here, this fest seems to be driven by women filmmakers. This is most surprising, since we just came out of such an bad year for women. But three of them were the major forces behind their projects that told important stories, sometimes personal, sometimes not. I came here feeling the pressure of time and age – and frankly feeling some despair about the state of things for women. I never expected I would leave here feeling hopeful not just for women this year but for the doors they creaked open this year, how they managed to do it, how well they did it, and how successful they’ve become doing it.

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