The Real-Life Fictions of 'The Tale' and 'American Animals'

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“We tell ourselves stories in order to survive,” says Laura Dern in voiceover in “The Tale,” the new narrative feature from documentarian Jennifer Fox (now streaming on HBO Go). The film is a hybrid of fiction and actuality: Dern is playing Fox, who was inspired to make the film when, at age 48, she slowly realized that she had been lying to herself for decades about the true, predatory nature of her relationship with her high school running and riding coaches.