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Tale of Tales (2015)

Il racconto dei racconti - Tale of Tales (original title)
Trailer
2:01 | Trailer
From the bitter quest of the Queen of Longtrellis, to two mysterious sisters who provoke the passion of a king, to the King of Highhills obsessed with a giant Flea, these tales are inspired by the fairytales by Giambattista Basile.

Director:

Matteo Garrone
22 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Salma Hayek ... Queen of Longtrellis
Vincent Cassel ... King of Strongcliff
Toby Jones ... King of Highhills
John C. Reilly ... King of Longtrellis
Shirley Henderson ... Imma
Hayley Carmichael ... Dora
Bebe Cave Bebe Cave ... Violet
Stacy Martin ... Young Dora
Christian Lees ... Elias
Jonah Lees ... Jonah
Laura Pizzirani Laura Pizzirani ... Jonah's Mother
Franco Pistoni Franco Pistoni ... Necromancer
Jessie Cave ... Fenizia
Michael Martini Michael Martini ... 1st Circus Boy
Alessandro Campagna Alessandro Campagna ... 2nd Circus Boy
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Storyline

The film serves as Garrone's English-language debut and will interweave three separate story strands bookended by brief bits in which Italians Alba Rohrwacher and Massimo Ceccherini will play a street circus family. In one tale, Salma Hayek will play a jealous queen who forfeits her husband's life. In another, Vincent Cassel plays a king whose passion is stoked by two mysterious sisters. Written by moha alomari

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A feast for the imagination See more »

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy | Horror

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality, nudity, some violence and bloody images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was Matteo Garrone's first English-speaking film. See more »

Goofs

In the first story the King is in a 16th century 'diving suit', which if not odd enough in itself, has no air tank or air source while he is under water for minutes doing battle with a giant sea monster. See more »

Quotes

Elias: I like being with him.
Elias: He's like a brother to me.
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Connections

Referenced in Evening Urgant: Viacheslav Fetisov/Ladlena Fetisova (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Se l'aura spira tutta vezzosa, F 7.15
Composed by Girolamo Frescobaldi
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User Reviews

 
Not your mother's fairy tales
20 April 2016 | by ferguson-6See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. Fairy tales have long been a fruitful source for movie material. Some, like Disney productions, land gently on the family/children end of the scale; while others like the Brothers Grimm material are much darker and adult in nature. And now, along comes director Matteo Garrone and his blending of three stories loosely based on the 17th century tales published by Giambattista Basile … and "black comedy" falls short as a description.

Mr. Garrone is best known for his chilling look at an Italian crime family in the award winning Gomorrah (2008), so a trilogy of demented monarchial fantasies may seem a bit outside his comfort zone … but grab ahold of your crown jewels and be ready for just about anything.

A very strong opening leads us into the first story about a King (John C Reilly) and Queen (Salma Hayek) who are by no one's definition, the perfect couple. The Queen's inability to have children leads her to strike a deal with a Faustian seer who promises a baby to the royal couple. The only catch is that the King must kill a sea monster, and the Queen must eat its heart after it's properly prepared by a virgin. Yep, it's pretty dark and pretty odd. Of course, as with all actions, there are consequences (albino twins of different mothers) … some of which are not so wonderful.

The second story involves a lecherous King (Vincent Cassel) who falls in love with a local woman based solely on her singing voice. Much deceit follows and the actions of two sisters (played by 3 actresses – Hayley Carmichael, Stacy Martin, Shirley Henderson) and some supernatural aging products lead to a twisty story of romance that can't possibly end well for anyone involved.

The third of our 3-headed story is the strangest of all, as a King (Toby Jones) nurtures a pet flea until it grows to behemoth size. Yes, a pet flea would be considered unusual, but eclipsing even that in uniqueness is the King's willingness to offer the hand of his daughter (Bebe Cave) in marriage to a frightening ogre who lives a solitary life in the mountains.

These three stories are interwoven so that we are bounced from one to another with little warning … which seems only fitting given the material. Knowing the theme of the three stories does not prepare one for the details – neither the comedy, nor the dramatic turns. All actors approach the material with deadpan seriousness which adds to the feeling of a Grimm Brothers and Monty Python mash-up.

Alexandre Desplat provides the perfect score for this oddity, though the audience may be limited to those who can appreciate grotesque sequences assembled with the darkest of comedy. The moral to these stories may be difficult to quantify; however, it's a reminder that actions beget consequences no matter the time period.


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Details

Country:

Italy | France | UK

Language:

English | Russian

Release Date:

22 April 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tale of Tales See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

EUR12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,871, 24 April 2016

Gross USA:

$118,925

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$5,497,104
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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