Jay Allen Sanford 1 p.m., May 4
The Tale of Tales (Il racconto dei racconti)
- Rated NR | 2 hours, 5 minutes
- View trailer
At first, you might think the title of this sometimes gorgeous, sometimes visceral offering from Matteo Garrone is a sort of superlative, something like Your Show of Shows. And who could blame you? The film opens with a barren queen (Salma Hayek) visited by a spectral stranger who tells her that she will conceive if she kills a sea monster, has a virgin cook its heart in solitude, and then eats said heart — which she promptly does (though not without cost). Phew! But it isn’t long before you realize that it’s more of a collective, a tale made up of tales that come together without quite becoming one, tales concerning the queen’s offspring, a lecherous king, a pent-up princess, an ambitious crone, a foolish father...you understand. It’s also possibly a consideration: a tale about tales, their universal themes of death and birth and desire, their vulgar power and transporting beauty — all the things that make us want to watch. More spellbinding than satisfying, but memorable and even haunting all the same. 2015.