*** (three stars)
Even the most famous actor's film about the search for truth in the family tree is bound to seem self-indulgent. "The Stories We Tell," Canadian actor and director Sarah Polley's documentary about the emotional forces that, in retrospect, directed her family onto various splintered paths has plenty of those moments. Thankfully, it's also energized by scrupulous narrative and directing methods that let Polley turn her personal story into a humorous and poignant foray about how people make sense of life's confusion events. Polley's story of how she discovered her vivacious mother's mid-life affair with another man, which in turn led to Polley's discovery of her true father (noted Canadian film producer Harry Gulkin), pulls tight questions around the knot of who we love, why we love them, and does so with just enough humor and charm to make you care. It's the kind of film that may have you rifling your own family photo albums when you get back home.
Monday, Jan. 21, 2:15 p.m. • The MARC, Park City
Tuesday, Jan. 22, 8:30 p.m. • Library Centre Theatre, Park City
Thursday, Jan. 24, noon • Temple Theatre, Park City
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