Stories We Tell (2012) - Documentary

Hohum Score



A film that excavates layers of myth and memory to find the elusive truth at the core of a family of storytellers.

IMDB: 7.5
Director: Sarah Polley
Stars: Michael Polley, John Buchan
Length: 108 Minutes
PG Rating: PG-13
Reviews: 9 out of 58 found boring (15.51%)

One-line Reviews (58)

Still, it makes for an intriguing viewing.

The film also has a waft of self-importance that allows proceedings to sadly go in circles and length wise drag out to near two hours which with this format gets old fast.

That's why the film is worth watching.

It must be said however that the films early stages are quite promising and downright riveting it's not until revelations are made clear that the film starts to struggle and you get the sense this is more a film for Polly herself than we the watchers.

Despite the length, 'Stories We Tell' is one fascinating memoir of a talented filmmaker's offbeat family history.

This absorbing piece is essential viewing for anyone interested in the relativity of history, whether personal or otherwise.

Sarah in particular maintains a monotone and cool demeanor through it all.

It wasn't until recently that John was forced to confront the memory once more after his aunt brought it up, and the thought - combined with the long-running joke that Sarah looks nothing else like her many brothers and sisters lead to the creation of Stories We Tell, one of the most entertaining documentaries of the year.

I'm sure many other families even have far more interesting, riveting stories to tell.

I felt as though she may have edited out some of the small details and left in some redundant commentary instead, to give people more equal weight- which left me somewhat dissatisfied, but in general it was both engaging and touching and worth a watch.

When all was said and done, she decided to make this movie about it, and the results are stunning.

That leave us with a very self-indulgent film.

I enjoyed the story and how well told it was and I found the contributors to be honest, human and engaging.

Unexpected, delightful...

It led to a bit of confusion as the film went on.

Self reflection in the "stories we tell" about ourselves through song, dance and in this case documentary film can actually interest and at best inspire someone but one must know the fine line between telling a personal story and extreme self-indulgence.

Anyone interested in the art of writing, family history or memoirs would probably find this film fascinating - my interest in those definitely helped keep me invested.

Even though it is a documentary about her family, it is quite riveting, with more than a few surprises.

Stories We Tell takes cinematic risks that pay off tremendously in both execution partnered with Iris Ng's stunning cinematography.

Hollywood just loves the smell of its own narcissism- this film is far too long; an incredibly arrogant woman who thinks so little of her husband and children that she's carrying on abroad with some slob, winds up pregnant by said slob, gleefully discusses aborting the child for 'health' reasons (where I suspect it was due to her own guilt) and then her family regales in 'hysterical' tales of their mothers infidelity and slamming their baby sister with horrific abuse regarding her 'real' father.

Dressing it up with pretentious attempts at sophistication and self-obsessed introspection does not change the fact that they are just making a big fuss over whether she cheated or not, and who with.

She is a lovely and intelligently gifted artist and thanks to her love of exploring she has created a very uniquely enjoyable documentary that tells the story of an issue within her family, from various points of view.

There are stories told and the culmination is fascinating.

In fact, this tribe of narcissists seems to have shot home video of virtually every moment of their dreary lives -- from having drinks in a nondescript bar to walking down the street, sitting in the kitchen, and so on.

The director Sarah Polley manages to make this fairly engaging to watch though.

And before I get ripping, I did find the second husband, the polley one, to be likable if completely uninteresting.

Stop rewarding this completely unhinged closet cleaning at the expense of the unsuspecting audience- for those of us TRAPPED during lockdowns, searching for solid documentaries, and tricked into believing this is some sort of entertaining romp when it is a tragic tale without an ounce of redeeming value.

It feels more self-indulgent than the personal insight I was expecting.

Polley tells this story in a way that is engaging and interesting.

The story is so gripping and intriguing that I'll do my best to keep my summation concise.

Also, just being able to see how different person tells the same story and what impact this had on them at the time they heard it was something fascinating.

Most say the same thing and hearing it over and over again becomes horribly tedious.

A compelling and personal documentary about her own life, Stories We Tell blends and fuses the magic of non-fiction with the imagination of the cinematic mind.

Spare us from such bores.

Incredibly self-indulgent faux examination of narrative .

At times it's an interview, at others it's a humorous interrogation; we witness the mystery unfolding in a truly compelling, warm and emotional fashion.

Other thing, documentary is so boring.

It is film worth watching.

The movie is shocking but it shocked me in tender way, and tender myself immersed in for the entire movie.

Complexly woven, beautifully told, visually engaging...

It's fascinating to see how we all perceive moments and how our memories contain them.

Towards the end, I felt it meandered on and on a little too much and became a bit self-indulgent.

The extended family in this documentary film is a most interesting one, and each individual member is a fascinating character in her or his own right, in spite of, perhaps because of, the fact that there is nothing truly weird about any of them.

I think what makes STORIES WE TELL so fascinating is her story itself really isn't unlike any story we've probably got in our own closet.

a film starring Michelle Williams as a woman torn between the comforts (and boredom) of marriage and the exciting possibility of an affair.

While the multiple perspectives are intriguing, they become ponderous and repetitive after a while.

Interesting and engaging while also being unsuccessful in its goals .

Indeed the thing that makes the story so engaging is that it is so well structured to be gradually delivered, be clear and be interesting on its impact on the family.

Those who want a lot of variety, excitement, layers & twists, etc, however, may be a trifle bored by it.

It's a different approach and works to keep the viewer engaged, even in the slower segments.

It's quietly enjoyable to watch, is thought-provoking, and is the kind of multi-layered deep meditation I expect critics and film schools to analyze closely.

Their life story is on public display in Stories We Tell, a fascinating examination of family dynamics written and directed by their actress/director daughter, Sarah Polley.

Every family has its own snags and their complications, what makes the Polleys' so compelling is save the provocative scandal aside, the film actually anatomizes deeper into the source material and transpires itself to a reflective reminder of how one's life could only be experienced once and any kind of recount is futile, as long as it involves more than 1 person, there is always a murky territory where certain feelings are unfathomable since only myself knows exactly how I feel and what has happened to me, not even soul-mates would have that power.

But even if it's not successful at achieving that goal, it's still a fascinating exploration of family dynamics, and we feel the sense of closure watching this film that Polley probably felt in making it.

Again, self-indulgent.

That's what makes the whole thing so fascinating.

If you enjoy spending hours in the company of completely self-absorbed people struggling to make their banal lives somehow dramatic and important, this documentary is for you.

It is possibly the most intriguing use of film recently.