The Tale (2018)
May 29, 2018 5:41 PM - Subscribe

The Tale is a 2018 American drama film written and directed by Jennifer Fox. The film tells the story about Fox's own childhood sexual abuse and how it affects her later relationships.

Jennifer has it all, with a loving boyfriend and a great career as a journalist and professor. But when her mother discovers a story - "The Tale" - that Jennifer wrote when she was 13, detailing a special relationship Jennifer had with two adult coaches, Jennifer returns to the Carolina horse farm where the events transpired to try to reconcile her version of events with the truth.

The Tale stars Laura Dern, Ellen Burstyn, Jason Ritter, Elizabeth Debicki, Isabelle Nélisse, Common, Frances Conroy, and John Heard.

How My Struggle As A Survivor Of Sexual Abuse Became ‘The Tale’, A Movie I Hope Will Change The World, by Jennifer Fox

The Tale Is a Searing Investigation of Past Abuse, by David Sims
posted by gatorae (6 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It was so striking that Jennifer remembered herself as older and was horrified when her mother showed her the picture of her at age 13, looking like a child.
posted by Aquifer at 8:28 PM on July 10, 2018 [3 favorites]

Aquifer, that was maybe the part of the movie that I found most effective. It still gives me chills to think about.

Jennifer Fox was interviewed on Fresh Air recently -- that's how I found The Tale. It's really heartening to hear how they managed to film it without traumatizing the young girl who plays Jennifer.
posted by fiercecupcake at 8:37 AM on August 21, 2018 [1 favorite]

powerful - disturbing - very well acted - extremely well-made - oscar worthy
posted by growabrain at 9:05 AM on October 30, 2018

Here is a link to the Terry Gross interview
posted by growabrain at 9:35 AM on October 30, 2018

I don't like Laura Dern, and most issue movies or true-story movies are so clumsy and bad, so I had my arms crossed against this movie but it proved me wrong. (How does Jason Ritter not run screaming from that role... even with an adult actress how do they film it, urgh.) It doesn't explode dramatically, but it doesn't come to pat conclusions either, and it doesn't sink too far into twee rich white people feels I think.

The switch in age was very effective, going from, "This is going to be creepy," to, "Oh no this is going to be horrifying."

The older Iris Rose was weird, her shift from a probably very sincere (for her character) shock and disgust at what was being suggested ("that's the same age as the children I teach"), to the admission that oh yes, she did remember the foursome that was going to happen and there was no disgust with herself at all, in the space of like three seconds. Her life was going to go on just fine, it seemed like.

Though I also though it was super gross and inappropriate how Dern's character quizzes her students about mental problems and sex lives, like, they did say she had trouble with boundaries, and they meant it, I guess.
posted by fleacircus at 4:39 PM on November 16, 2018 [1 favorite]

This one was incredibly hard to watch, but there's no denying it was well done for what it was.

The depiction of Jennifer's process of gradually coming to understand that she had been abused in particular was unlike anything I had ever seen in a movie, and that hit me hard, because that's what it's like to go from a normalized view of past abuse, in which you don't even think to use the word "abuse", to seeing it as the terrible thing it really is, and tracing the impact it has had on you and your subsequent life. It's like a chasm opening up under your feet.
posted by orange swan at 10:11 PM on December 28, 2018 [2 favorites]

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