DVD Review: Stories We Tell

A very interesting concept.
Stories We Tell actually addressed my main issue right away: why should I care about this one family's story? Every family has a story.

Sarah Polley interviews several family members and friends of the family on their "secrets" mostly involving her deceased mother. The film is laid back, everyone looks comfortable in their homes, and I'm sure to them, these stories are very interesting.

I love Sarah Polley. She's easily one of my favorite female writers/directors out there today and I saw this mainly for her, but unfortunately, what they said at the beginning was true. I don't really care about her family history. That sounds a bit harsh, especially when I love when Polley writes, but it's true. I think the concept of this documentary was great and unique, but at the end of the day, I was just kind of bored with it. It's not the worst documentary I've seen this year, but it's the least memorable. I don't even have anything to add to this review, and that's unfortunate. It had no staying power.

Recommended: No

Grade: C+

Memorable Quote: "They all agreed on mom's character." - Sarah Polley

6 comments:

  1. it is quite unmemorable. i never even knew anything about sarah polley before this, but she does have a vision. i just don't think this story has enough of a universal pull to sink in my memory.

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    1. EXACTLY! I should just copy and paste your comment in place of my review. It sums it up better. lol

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  2. Hi Brittani,

    I really admire Sarah Polley and, like you, only watched this because of her involvement in it. Unlike you, however, I found her personal history very interesting. However, even if I had not, I think she has more than simply her story to tell.

    I think Polley wishes to reflect on the art of storytelling itself and her personal story simply provides her a context in which she may do so. As I have written in a comment to someone else after my own reaction to this documentary, I think Polley and her (real) father Harry exist as a sort of conversation between the postmodern and modern. Harry has interest in who should be telling the story and who should not be and he bases that evaluation on the potentiality of such voices to arrive at the “real” Diane (the mother). Sarah, in contrast, has a sense that there is no definitive depiction of her mother. In including as many voices as possible, and in resisting the urge to evaluate such voices, potential exists that if even one such voice paints the real Diane better than others, then at least she, Sarah, will have succeeded in not stamping out that depiction.

    That’s what I found interesting about this endeavour. The remarkable restraint of Sarah Polley.

    KW.

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    1. Yes, the concept was interesting, and I could see it working with another story, just not particularly this one.

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  3. Interesting. I can see how it wouldn't be for everyone, but I loved the concept and most of the stories. Still bummed it didn't get nominated at the Oscars.

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    1. I made a decent attempt at documentaries this year and NONE of them I saw got nominated.

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