Tale of Tales Cert. 15 Picture house at FACT

  • Running time134 minutes
  • DirectorMatteo Garrone
  • GenreAdventure
  • CastSalma Hayek, John C. Reilly, Toby Jones, Vincent Cassel

Rooted in Italian folktales, director Matteo Garrone’s (Reality, Gomorrah) first English-language film is a gloriously Gothic story of obsession. The Queen of Longtrellis (Hayek) is determined to have a child whatever the cost.

To achieve her goal, she is told she must eat the heart of a sea serpent, an item her husband (Reilly) is sent off into the deep to collect. Meanwhile, the King of Highhills (Jones) is besotted with his pet flea, while the lusty King of Strongcliff (Cassel) pursues two elusive sisters. Visually the film is stunning, but for every moment of beauty there is a glimpse of the grotesque: Tale Of Tales’ moments of horror are all the more effective for their scarcity.

Nominated for the Palme D’Or and the FIPRESCI prize at Cannes 2015, this is a daring, darkly witty film that stimulates the senses.


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