English Review – The Tale (2018)


Jennifer Fox embraces her life with a bravery by telling it as a poignant yet unpleasant fading memories start to unscramble

I’ve ever had this dream of directing a movie of which the story is about a grown man tries to visit his past by finding people who used to be his. And how it turns out quite not simply because they’re no longer there. And I know that kind of formula is perhaps still generic. I forget whichever movie has had it but at least, I know The Tale told its story in that kind of way, perfectly.

Laura Dern character attempts to rearrange her childhood memory, and she seems to forget so many things. Photo album, past letters, and visiting old friends. Her memory starting to compose, but her minds are on collapse instead. No, The Tale isn’t a joyful nostalgic story or as simple as meeting long-ago fellas. The warning scene on the very first frame tells it all, that it contains a strong sexual matter. Not depicted in such a vulgar display maybe, but by how powerful and painful experiences are told on it.

Director and writer Jennifer Fox tells his own past life through the face of Laura Dern. I’ll tell this straight: She was sexually harassed by a person she was close with before. Twenty, almost thirty years have gone by, and those memories fade away from her persona. One day, Jennifer’s mama (played by Ellen Burstyn) finds her past letters out, learns it and leaves her in an uncomfortable way. She calls Jennifer, “Why’d you never told me this.”, she asked. And Jennifer set down in an uneasy moment of recalling some obscure memories which may not very good by any means.

“I’d like to begin this story by telling you something so beautiful”, Jennifer reads her essay, 13 years old’s diary of her. Bring her back in time, imagines it, questions every of it. How every single moment had done, she starts to learn the nature of her childhood relationship with her riding instructor and running coach.

Simply unbearable. That was a deep, visceral reminiscence. Young Jennifer was at the moment when she had taken her relationship too far with some adults portrayed as her foster, or something like that. Young Jennifer also reflects an individual who was vulnerable; words are shaping our juvenile morality easily. It’s not easy to figure out what is belied from us.

The intriguing part of this film is when Jennifer pretty confused by all of this herself. “I was so little”. Her retention can’t get there. Adult Jennifer reads what others may think of her back then, “You had been taken advantage of by older people.”, and yet still she wants to confront what had really happened. Adult Jennifer feels strange she doesn’t find that such experiences and feeling were hers. The denial sometimes is strong she even tries to recall it by imagine herself taking a discussion with the younger version of her.

For the record, Jennifer Fox is an absolutely brave woman. Her story is like the strongest movement of a social campaign about sexual abuse or harassment. You remember about the #metoo campaign ?, yeah, Fox has had this film speaks for her solid. I believe, if it’s not a mention about remarkable tale she had here, at least Jennifer will have some honorary recognition for her significant film in any major acknowledgment event, even The Academy.

The puzzling mystery ended in a provoking manner. That ending makes me think again about the whole film, about the contradiction of personality by oneself separated by two distant periods of life that somehow could happen and yet it had happened here. What if Jennifer doesn’t remember it all not because she was little at the time, but because she doesn’t recognize herself and admit her views of thing that just unacceptable for her now at present ?.