Manage your own movie collection and always keep it with you with our Apps. Price track movies and get price drop notifications instantly. Become a member to take full advantage of all site features.

Best Blu-ray Deals

Best Blu-ray Deals, See All the Deals »
Top deals | Price drops  
 All countries United States United Kingdom Canada Germany France Spain Italy Japan
The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy (Blu-ray)
Cannibal Holocaust (Blu-ray)
Mr. Peabody & Sherman (Blu-ray)
Ken Burns: The Roosevelts (Blu-ray)
Batman: The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
Ghostbusters 1 & 2 Double Pack (Blu-ray)
The Swimmer (Blu-ray)
House of Cards: The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray)
Freezing: Anime Classics Season 1 (Blu-ray)
Lake Placid (Blu-ray)
Mr. Peabody & Sherman 3D (Blu-ray)
Sleepaway Camp (Blu-ray)
Pacific Rim (Blu-ray)
Dexter: The Complete Series 1-8 Collection Exclusive Gift Set (Blu-ray)
Nymphomaniac: Volumes I and II (Blu-ray)
Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase One - Avengers Assembled (Blu-ray)
The Party (Blu-ray)
Little House on the Prairie: Season Three (Blu-ray)
God's Not Dead (Blu-ray)

Stories We Tell

2012 | 108 min | PG-13 | 1.85:1

Stories We Tell


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

User reviews

No user reviews yet, post one

Movie appeal



Theatrical release date

 17 May, 2013
 28 June, 2013

Country of origin




Overview Preview Cast & crew Screenshots User reviews News Forum

Stories We Tell


Stories We Tell Preview  

 / 10
Preview by Brian Orndorf, May 30, 2013

From the outside looking in, it seems rather insistent of director Sarah Polley to present a documentary with her own family as the subject, suggesting an insufferably narcissistic viewing experience where the artist purges her demons for the world to see. However, “Stories We Tell” isn’t that shameless, embarking on a riveting odyssey of emotion, revelation, and storytelling perspective as it examines a most unusual situation of bifurcated love, resulting in a mystery of sorts involving a question of paternity and the very essence of family as Polley collects the jigsaw puzzle pieces of her life. While I can understand any reluctance to view the personal business of others, Polley moves beyond the routine of therapy to shape an expressive and beautifully considerate documentary.

You might know Sarah Polley best as an actress, starring as a little girl in Terry Gilliam’s “The Adventures of Baron Munchausen,” while her adult work includes the “Dawn of the Dead” remake. For her third feature-length directorial outing, Polley has elected to turn inward, focusing on the marriage of her parents, Michael and Diane, two actors with striking personality differences who encountered a few bumps of commitment during their time together in the 1970s. Despite the presence of universal disproportion, there is more to the story than simple domestic discord, requiring a community of voices to help paint a particularly complex portrait of confusion, with Polley calling on siblings, friends of the family, and outsiders to help fill in a few of the considerable holes in the tale. There’s also Michael, who accepts narration duties as his own daughter sorts through the knotted moments of their life, working to complete unfinished business that’s been eating away at her for years now, endeavoring to find the edges of a situation that’s disturbed what she holds dear.

Everything about “Stories We Tell” is presented with layers, including the moviemaking itself, where Polley photographs herself creating the documentary, interviewing the participants and directing Michael in a recording studio as her father works through the provided text. It’s a film within a film point of view that helps to understand Polley’s mindset when attacking such personal stories. There’s also a question of evidence as the feature supplies a steady stream of Super 8 footage, though only a small portion of the haul is real, with dramatic recreations employed to detail key individuals in social and domestic settings, though, to her credit, the leap between fact and fiction is seamless, revealing the trick during the end credits when actors are identified as “Michael” and “Diane,” exposing the convincing artifice. “Stories We Tell” is a film about uncovering truth, yet Polley employs a great amount of manipulation as glue to hold the effort together, adding to the strange mystique of the picture and its snowballing sense of disclosure.

Polley’s narrative is never streamlined, constantly shifting to reveal nuggets of information that rework the overall saga of Michael and Diane. While the couple was clearly in love, dysfunction, distance, and expectation soon divided the household, leading to possible infidelity while Diane was away working on a play, enlivened by her fresh surroundings and the attention of others. Enter film producer Harry Gulkin, an admirer of Diane’s who comes to play a prominent role in the story once a question of paternity is raised, leaving Polley in a particularly uncomfortable position of researcher as she begins to pore over the evidence, afraid to push her fragile father into depression after collecting such sensitive information. While it seems absurdly indulgent to follow Polley’s intimate investigation, “Stories We Tell” elects to expose its heart in full, touching on common unknowns concerning parental actions, while time with the director’s siblings provide a few wrenching confessions of abandonment. Diane’s eventual death from cancer is also examined, leaving the most important figure in the documentary a question mark Polley works diligently to solve, using screentime to reexamine her mother in a compassionate manner.

“Stories We Tell” is nonlinear and at times a bit skittish, focusing on Harry’s reluctance to take part in the documentary, afraid to relinquish his feelings to Polley’s editorial control. It’s honest work despite its use of recreations, using the influence of cinema to attack profound feelings of love and loss in a warmly artistic manner, thus providing newfound clarity to age-old confusion. It’s a beautifully measured, smartly assembled feature, but its most important quality is soulfulness, dissecting an exquisitely mystifying and painful series of revelations with an eye toward providing comfort for everyone involved. Polley’s not picking at a scab for easy melodrama, she’s examining the fabric of her life, marveling over the personalities and remarkable human behaviors that have shaped her into the woman she is today.

Starring: Sarah Polley
Director: Sarah Polley

» See full cast & crew

Have you seen this movie?

Rate and write your own review
The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy (Blu-ray)
Gold Box Deal of the Day
Today only: $37.99

Buy Now


Get Daily Blu-ray Deals

* We do not share your email and you may opt out at any time.

Top Blu-ray Deals


The best Blu-ray deals online. Don't miss out on these great deals.

See Today's Deals »

 Top movies

Latest Deals United States

The latest deals on Blu-ray movies
at Amazon.

Show new deals »

Trending Blu-ray Movies
1. The Legend of Billie Jean
2. Insomnia
3. Scanners
4. Sabotage
5. The Essential Jacques Demy
6. Batman: The Complete Series
7. Maleficent
8. Under the Skin
9. Transcendence
10. Jaws
11. Hercules 3D
12. The Wolf of Wall Street
13. Hercules
14. Heaven Is for Real
15. A Hard Day's Night

Trending in Theaters
1. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
2. Lucy
3. Hercules
4. The LEGO Movie
5. Sabotage
6. Under the Skin
7. Noah
8. Godzilla
9. X-Men: Days of Future Past
10. The Purge: Anarchy
11. Maleficent
12. 300: Rise of an Empire
13. Transcendence
14. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
15. RoboCop

Top 10 Sellers United States
1.  Divergent
2.  Noah
3.  Batman: The Complete Series
4.  Game of Thrones: The Complete Fourt...
5.  The LEGO Movie
6.  The Lord of the Rings: The Motion P...
7.  Heaven Is for Real
8.  X-Men: Days of Future Past
9.  Transformers: Age of Extinction
10.  Godzilla 3D
  » See more top sellers

Top 10 Pre-orders United States
1.  Divergent
2.  Noah
3.  Batman: The Complete Series
4.  Game of Thrones: The Complete Fourt...
5.  X-Men: Days of Future Past
6.  Transformers: Age of Extinction
7.  Godzilla 3D
8.  The Amazing Spider-Man 2 3D
9.  How to Train Your Dragon 2
10.  The Other Woman
  » See more pre-orders

Top 10 Bargains United States
1.  Divergent
$19.96, Save 50%
2.  Noah
$17.99, Save 55%
3.  The LEGO Movie
$17.96, Save 50%
4.  The Lord of the Rings: The Motion P...
$37.99, Save 68%
5.  Transformers: Age of Extinction
$19.99, Save 50%
6.  Rio 2 3D
$22.99, Save 54%
7.  The Wolf of Wall Street
$11.99, Save 56%
8.  Jaws
$7.99, Save 60%
9.  The Legend of Billie Jean
$5.19, Save 48%
10.  The Other Woman
$19.99, Save 50%
  » See more deals

Most Popular Blu-ray Movie Deals

The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy

 United States

$119.98 $37.99

Cannibal Holocaust

 United States

$39.95 $25.78

Mr. Peabody & Sherman

 United States

$38.99 $22.99

Best Blu-ray Movie Deals »

This web site is not affiliated with the Blu-ray Disc Association.
All trademarks are the property of the respective trademark owners.
© 2002-2014 All rights reserved.
Registration problems | Business/Advertising Inquiries | Privacy Policy | Legal Notices