The Tale (2018) Movie Review

Director: Jennifer Fox

Writer: Jennifer Fox (Screenplay)

Starring: Laura Dern, Jason Ritter, Common, Elizabeth Debicki, Jessica Sarah Flaum, Laura Allen, Ellen Burstyn, John Heard

Plot: A woman filming a documentary on childhood rape victims starts to question the nature of her childhood relationship with her riding instructor and running coach.

Runtime: 1 Hour 54 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

VerdictDisturbing

Story: The Tale starts as documentary filmmaker Jennifer (Dern) returns home, with her mother getting worried about a story she once wrote as a teenage girl about her time at a riding school under Mrs G (Debicki) and Bill (Ritter), which tells the story of how she was struggling in her home life and wanted to spend more time with the training.

The deeper Jennifer looks into her past, she starts realize the truth about the sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of her coach, one that she wants to learn more about why, before jumping to any conclusions.

Thoughts on The Tale

Characters – Jennifer is a documentary filmmaker, she travels the world for her stories and teaches classes, until she gets a story from her childhood, which shows a relationship she once had with an older man as a teenager girl. We follow both Jennifer in the modern world, looking back on her life and the Jennifer that was led by a sexual predator that took advantage of her innocence. Bill is the coach that has been breeding Jennifer at a younger age, he went onto become one of the most famous coaches in America sports, because nobody wanted to admit about his nature. Martin is the boyfriend of Jennifer, once he learns the truth he wants to help, only it does push their relationship further apart, he won’t let this be the end of their relationship though. Mrs G ran the riding school that Jennifer attended, she becomes idolised by the girls she taught, even though she was the gateway for Bill to meet the girls.

PerformancesLaura Dern is fantastic in the leading role shining through the film, with a supporting cast including Jason Ritter, Common, Elizabeth Debicki doing well with their moments, showing their strengths around Dern’s performance.

StoryThe story here follows a documentary filmmaker that looks back at her past, where she learns about the sexual abuse she once received as a teenager. This story shows the reality that a lot of victims wouldn’t have known what happened and it takes time to look back and learn the truth, instead of just panicking about it, we see how one person studies what might have happened to see how they became a victim over, why. This story does show how easily predators could breed their victims and how people wouldn’t look twice at what is happening around them. We do also know this is a personal story for the director, who puts her life out for display.

MysteryThe mystery in the film does a good job at balance, a tale from a 13-year-old with reality, teasing whether it was true or not.

SettingsThe film mixes the settings well between the two time periods, it shows us the locations that could make people victims and how people could build a world after it.


Scene of the Movie – Confrontation.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Not seeing more of the bigger picture.

Final Thoughts This is a disturbing look at one persons story of sexual abuse as a child, it shows how easily they were breed and how they didn’t even realize until they reach middle age, with powerful performance from Laura Dern.

Overall: Shocking.