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The Fox Trot: Laura Dern & Ellen Burstyn Spin “The Tale”

We imagine that for plenty of docu-helmers (take the tumultuous past couple of years in that Laura Poitras had to undergo) that sometimes life is indeed truer than fiction. A documentarian who has made several trips to Sundance (Beirut: The Last Home Movie, An American Love Story and Flying: Confessions of a Free Woman) is now turning the lenses on her own experience….one that digs into childhood and adulthood. Screen reports that will direct Laura Dern, Ellen Burstyn, Sebastien Koch (The Danish Girl) and Elizabeth Debicki (Kurzel’s Macbeth) in an investigative thriller called The Tale. Principal photography is set for this summer, with the multi-talented Oren Moverman producing alongside Lawrence Inglee and Fox. Marc Almon and Sol Bondy serve as co-producers.

Gist: Based on an episode from her own life, Jennifer (Dern?), a globetrotting journalist living in New York whose mother finds a story she wrote aged 13 describing a sexual triangle with two adult coaches. When Jennifer attempts to locate everyone connected to the story, she discovers her recollection of events are far removed from her teenage account.

Worth Noting: Fox’s Beirut: The Last Home Movie won the Grand Jury Prize for best documentary and the Excellence in Cinematography Award in 1988.

Do We Care?: Not unlike Sarah Polley’s Stories We Tell exercise on the complex nature of how we both interpret, and act on memory, we’re thinking that Fox could creatively make a bold examination that moves away from the survivalist instinct template.

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist and critic at (founded in 2000). Eric is a regular at Sundance, Cannes and TIFF. He has a BFA in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013 he served as a Narrative Competition Jury Member at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson's This Teacher (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022 he served as a New Flesh Comp for Best First Feature at the 2022 Fantasia Intl. Film Festival. Current top films for 2022 include Tár (Todd Field), All That Breathes (Shaunak Sen), Aftersun (Charlotte Wells).

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