MovieChat Forums > Stories We TellĀ (2012) Discussion > The last Scene of the movie suggests:

The last Scene of the movie suggests:


... that Sarah thought her mother was a whore... And really doesn't know her very well.. And that No One really knew her that well.


I just thought it was significant that Sarah choose the absolute last line of the film to be Geoff's confession that he slept with her mother "once".

Whats the purpose of ending it in that way i ask?

I immediately thought the director (Sarah Polley) meant to suggest that her mother was a promiscuous whore who wasn't "just looking for the love that she couldn't get from her husband Michael". Geoffs sleeping with Diane kinda throws sand on this whole image of this Wonderful Secret Romance shared by Diane and Harry thats talked about so "beautifully".

It kinda makes the whole story seem worthless at the end. Like, nope, we still dont know who Diane was. Or this story has even more layers to it, Stories We Tell Part2 in theaters next year.


I felt the story was good, but not 110mins good. More like 80mins or so. And at the same time it was incomplete with some of the characters stories. I would have liked to seen a conclusion from all of Dianes kids on how they felt about her once they learned of her secrets. I still dont get how Dianes family can be so forgiving/supportive of her affairs while she was married.


Stories We Tell:6/10



1/10= Toxic
3= Disappointing
5= Ok
6= Recommended
8= Excellent!
10/10= Classic.

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Yeah, I thought the movie was too long. But the last scene was great. It has a black comedy feel to it. I felt like I was watching The Office. After all the poetic narration given by Michael and how Joanna was happy that she thought that her mother eventually "found love", Sarah went on putting Geoff's confession, as if she was saying: "Nope, she was just a whore", or something like: "Maybe, just maybe. Maybe she was just a whore, a dirty one." I couldn't help laughing out loud. The way Geoff confessed was gold.

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She slept with him once, big whoop. I don't think that revelation at the end is any sleight on her romantic relationship with Harry that continued for a much longer period of time.

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[deleted]

Perhaps you misread the ending bit (or else I did)... to me, it was part of the multi-faceted way that storytelling affects how we understand events and yet renders facts elusive.

Here's what I got from that reveal in the end credits. It was not to suggest once and for all that that dude WAS the real father, or even possibly the real father. Nor was it to suggest that Diane Polley was some sort of whore, as many here seemed to think.

My take was simply this: when they were kids, and teased about the possibility that this guy was probably Sarah's real father, that guy became the odds on favorite and even looked like her and it really seemed like it might be true. Yet, when she confronted him about this part of his past & how he felt knowing he was considered as a possibility, he downplayed it and said Diane and him had just been friends and there was no romantic attachment between them at all.... yet, he said it in a way that seemed to betray that there was more to his story than he cared to reveal. True enough, when pressed by Sarah for a straight answer (as well as removing doubt by admitting a DNA test proved another man was in fact the father), he finally came clean and admitted he DID sleep with her.

To me, it felt a little more incidental. Yes, it's a bit of a twist to have him say, "but wait, I DID sleep with her after all! Maybe I AM the father!" but if that interpretation exists, it's only as a small joke, as if alluding to yet another layer to this story. But the fact that the DNA test is 99.997% makes the question irrelevant at this point, right?

Point being, in keeping with the themes of telling the stories of our lives, we choose to withhold information and reveal information in such a way that the "truth" can be elusive. The way this guy behaved during this portion of the interview helped underline the theme of secrets and the narratives we tell to obscure those secrets from others.

On the other hand, this is just how I interpreted that ending. He was unwilling to present the truth to her and originally lied about his relationship, then later revealed a different version by admitting to having sex with her. Maybe he was lying then? Who knows. As you suggested, maybe nobody knows anybody all that well.

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It was not to suggest once and for all that that dude WAS the real father, or even possibly the real father. Nor was it to suggest that Diane Polley was some sort of whore, as many here seemed to think.


That's a total WTF to me that anyone would interpret it in either of those ways. People are so weird, and gross.

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My top 250: http://www.flickchart.com/Charts.aspx?user=SlackerInc&perpage=250

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I haven't read the rest of the replies yet...but you completely nailed it, I think. Particularly the part about this moment SO illustrating exactly what the movie is about. Or at least one aspect...how the telling of our stories is so...conditional.

Anyway...it's late and you already said it so well, so I'll just say, great perspective. Nailed it.

"What else do you like? Lazy? Ugly? Horny? I got 'em all."
"You don't look lazy."

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I found the whole movie a bit tedious and dubious of message, but at least that ending gave me a good laugh. I swear I was walking around my apartment chuckling and chortling for a good ten minutes after I turned it off.

For all the angst-ridden analysis that can be piled on it, it really was some fantastic comedy. The guy's expression - the timing.

Maybe that was a big part of it doing it that way. Maybe someone understands comedy and recognized a fantastic joke. Simple as that.

Now part of the humor was the way it cast new light on so much we had just seen. So much of the doc was presented as heavy and serious - and suddenly that happens and it's like, "or not."

That is funny - and valid IMO. It's old stuff. We got some answers but who knows? Nothing earth-shatteringly terrible happened. It's all just humans being human.

Life is funny.







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Geoff seems to have been aware early on, that Diane had a strong relationship with Harry on the sidelines of her marriage; it then made sense to follow that Harry was the father, whereas Diane was with Geoff only once, which may have well been at a different time, ruling out Geoff's fatherhood.

Neither did Diane inform Geoff about Sarah the way she'd informed Harry by sending Harry photos of Sarah, which confirm that Harry was attributed by Diane as the father.

Geoff's revelation in the end might have then given cause to perform a DNA test.

The film explains as much about Diane's Montreal days, that she was looking for love, and eventually settled on Harry. This she could not reveal, as her previous marital experience informed her fear of losing custody of the children from her second husband during a possible divorce.

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Just saw the film, btw.

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I didn't quite get the end either and was left with more questions about when they slept together, was it when she was away for the play, when she was single, years later? When? I liked that part included at the end because even though we heard everyone talk about her we still don't know all her "secrets."

I can understand why her grown daughter approved of her mother's affair, because she most likely has her own issues and would like a love like that for herself and was glad her mother got what she most wanted, which was simply to be loved, even if she didn't love in return, being Diane's love for the other guy was never discussed really, except people saying she loved her husband more but there was no proof either way. She most likely would have stayed, even if she was crazy in love with the other guy because of her past experiences of losing her children because she put herself before her husband and she wasn't willing to risk everything again.

I could even understand why the husband was willing to allow his wife to have affairs, and I am not sure if he loved her but just couldn't show it or else didn't care about her at all. That seems like a very interesting relationship that I don't feel like I understand. I got the feeling that she needed to be loved and adored and even if her husband did love her she needed the first blush of love for it to "count."

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Not sure how an affair (or 2, or 5 - who knows how many people she slept with or didn't?) by someone who had a verbal understanding with their spouse makes them a "dirty whore," but whatever...
What I took from that last scene (and the whole movie, really) is that each human being is a different person to everyone who knows them. It's impossible to get a true 360-degree look at any one person, and by throwing in that last confession, Polley is telling us that she's aware of this.
She can't help but try, however, because a) the person in question was her MOTHER who she lost at 11, and b) finding out everything she can about her mother will then tell her more about herself (who she is, where she comes from, etc.).
The last scene/confession really serves to drive home the point Polley makes when she pulls back the camera to reveal that much of the film we've been watching is actually dramatic re-enactments. How accurate were the memories of the people who were there those nights after the show?
When you watch old home movies of yourself as a toddler (as Polley does in the documentary), are your memories of those moments real, or are you just placing yourself in the movie because you've seen it so many times?
This was one of the most interesting documentaries I've seen in a long time, and Polley continually surprises me as a director with each new film.

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[deleted]

Well said streets_behind.

Also, it was the 70s! Just past the era of free love and all that, key parties, wife swapping - the era before AIDS. It was a very different time.

I did read a statistic that something like an estimated 10% of French don't know their biological fathers (or think they're someone other than who they are). Extramarital affairs are more common than we'd like to think.

I have been very saddened by the slut shaming of Sarah's mom on this board. Sure, she was no angel, but seriously? Was she that different from other people of her generation, especially theater types? I'm sure she married very young, whereas today people practice serial monogamy (or not even that) marrying much later in life.

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Totally agree - the slut shaming of the woman in question here is pretty gross. No one in the film appears to judge her, including her own husband, so why should anyone else?
Besides, even by the prissiest, most Puritanical "moral" codes, the Polleys essentially had an open marriage, and Diane ended the relationship, returning to her husband and family. Sarah Polley wouldn't be alive if it hadn't happened (which her "adopted" dad acknowledges in one of the most touching, kindly moments I've ever seen on film).
You never see these threads when men do this s**t, do you?

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I agree with all of that, except that I do see people freak out over male infidelity too. HBO had a great show called Mind of the Married Man that got hounded off the air because it was so toxic to the Puritan Patrol that is American society.

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My top 250: http://www.flickchart.com/Charts.aspx?user=SlackerInc&perpage=250

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[deleted]

Remember, Diane Polley died when Sarah was 10. In those first 10 years, a person doesn't know their parents well.

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