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Oscar Nominee Sarah Polley Goes Public With Her #MeToo Story

Dave Itzkoff profiles actress/director Sarah Polley in the New York Times, in advance of the publication of her new essay collection Run Towards the Danger.

In the profile, Itzkoff references one of those essays, titled “The Woman Who Stayed Silent.” In that particular essay, Polley recounts a horrific experience with former CBC radio host Jian Ghomeshi, who was acquitted in 2016 on multiple charges of sexual assault following the allegations of numerous women.

Recalling what she used to describe as “a funny party story about my worst date ever,” Polley writes of being 16 (Ghomeshi was 28 at the time) when she fled his apartment “after he became violent during a sexual encounter in which he ignored her pleas to stop hurting her.”

As several women came forward to share eerily similar allegations about Ghomeshi’s behaviour, Polley writes that “friends, lawyers and other experts” persuaded her to keep her mouth shut, warning “that her memory and sexual history would be subjected to merciless cross-examination.” In addition, her interactions with Ghomeshi in subsequent years — including “friendly radio interviews and playful emails” — could also be used to destroy her character.

However, Polley tells Itzkoff that she’s since come to regret keeping silent. “I felt a deep, ethical obligation, especially to the women who came forward in that case, to tell that story, and a deep haunting that I wasn’t able to tell it sooner,” she explained.

“I feel a relief in finally just standing up,” she added. “But I’ll always wonder if it’s just too little too late. That’s always going to be with me.”

According to the Times, Ghomeshi didn’t respond to requests for comment.

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by Anonymousreply 51March 15, 2023 7:06 PM

She was incredible in The Sweet Hereafter.

by Anonymousreply 1February 21, 2022 2:02 AM

Took me a second to recognize her with the glasses.

by Anonymousreply 2February 21, 2022 9:37 AM

Good for her. And her "better late" explanation is considered, low key, and entirely credible.

I always liked her work and admire that she took her own path instead of just saying yes to everything hoping for more and bigger, more and bigger.

by Anonymousreply 3February 21, 2022 9:57 AM

Too little, too late. Good thing her career is over.

by Anonymousreply 4February 21, 2022 10:02 AM

This guy is sick and clearly had years long history of abuse. It’s sick he was found not guilty.

by Anonymousreply 5February 21, 2022 10:07 AM

If you want to be freaked out, this is what she looked like at 16, very young, though it’s mentioned she filmed a movie playing a 23 year old at that time as well. She’s always been kind of an old soul and wise beyond her years, but you can see she’s really a child here. I’ve always felt The Sweet Hereafter was her strongest performance, but now we know her life experience informed her acting as a daughter being molested by her father.

The scene where’s she’s now paralyzed and realizing her father isn’t interested in her anymore, but setting his sights on the younger sister and she insists on having a lock inside her bedroom door and that her sister can stay with her whenever she wants is very unnerving. But the tour de force is when she turns on a dime during the deposition and lies about what really happened during the accident. In an instant she destroys the hopes of the lawyer and her father in winning the lawsuit, while simultaneously becoming the moral center of the film and it’s just so perfectly executed.

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by Anonymousreply 6February 21, 2022 11:23 AM

R6 OMG lady friend, she looks 5 years old. And that baby voice. Jesus fuck. Jian was a pedo in addition to being a girl hating rapist. Youse got all the wisdom.

by Anonymousreply 7February 21, 2022 11:26 AM

Are you being sarcastic, R7?

by Anonymousreply 8February 21, 2022 1:47 PM

There were rumors at the time that Sarah Polley was one of his victims, if she was telling this story as a "funny worst date ever story" to people that would explain those rumors.

Sarah was also hurt several times as a kid when she was filming Munchausen and ended up in the hospital, and when Terry Gilliam responded to her article by basically saying "it's not my fault," she was nothing but kind and agreeable. On top of that, in the "Stories We Tell" documentary, she mentions things her family did to her (like icing her out, telling her she wasn't part of the family, a lot of lies) that she just took in stride or even kind of joked about.

I think she's sometimes not aware when people have crossed certain boundaries. It may have taken her a long time to even realize that she was attacked and it wasn't just a bad date.

by Anonymousreply 9February 21, 2022 1:50 PM

[quote]Too little, too late. Good thing her career is over.

Polley's career is just fine thank you.

If she ever chose to return to acting she'd have a long list of directors and actors wanting to work with her - her last acting role was in John Adams, which smashed Emmy records.

And her writing and directing career is just fine. An Academy Award nomination for her and her main actor in her first movie, her Margaret Atwood adaptation for Netflix was well received and she's written and directed a film with perpetual award ceremony attendees Frances McDormand, Claire Foy, Jessie Buckley, Judith Ivey and Ben Whishaw.

by Anonymousreply 10February 21, 2022 2:06 PM

God, she must have felt sick and regretful when that verdict came down. I respect her for coming out now and telling the truth.

by Anonymousreply 11February 21, 2022 2:09 PM

Man bad to my pussy gimme oscar stat.

by Anonymousreply 12February 21, 2022 2:17 PM

I've always found her self-righteous and annoying, and not much of an intellectual, but... she is genuinely a good actress and she was great in Guinevere way back when.

by Anonymousreply 13February 21, 2022 2:18 PM

[quote] she is genuinely a good actress and she was great in Guinevere way back when.

Loved it, her and Stephen Rea - plus it contains one of Jean Smart’s less screechy performances.

[quote] It’s sick he was found not guilty.

There was a long thread about Ghomeshi at the time of his trial. The victims sabotaged their own case by emailing each other about how they were going to destroy him. Understandable behaviour, but legally, unwise.

by Anonymousreply 14February 21, 2022 2:30 PM

She looks like the lovechild of Philip Seymour Hoffman and Conan O’Brien @OP.

by Anonymousreply 15February 21, 2022 2:31 PM

Loved her in “The Sweet Hereafter” and she was terrific in “Go”. Scorsese very much wanted her for “Gangs of New York” but Harvey Weinstein pushed Cameron Diaz on him. She also was originally cast as Penny Lane in “Almost Famous”.

by Anonymousreply 16February 21, 2022 2:50 PM

I loved her in Go. She had much more chemistry with peak hotness Timothy Olyphant than Katie Holmes did.

by Anonymousreply 17February 21, 2022 2:53 PM

She was nominated for an Oscar? She was good in the Dawn of the Dead remake too.

by Anonymousreply 18February 21, 2022 3:51 PM

[quote]She was nominated for an Oscar? She was good in the Dawn of the Dead remake too.

She wrote and directed Away With Her, starring Julie Christie.

by Anonymousreply 19February 21, 2022 3:59 PM

I like Cameron Diaz a lot but she was awful in Gangs of New York, and I've always wished they had stayed with Sarah Polley. She would have been terrific.

by Anonymousreply 20February 21, 2022 4:01 PM

"Don't get all 818 on me, Claire!"

by Anonymousreply 21February 21, 2022 7:08 PM

Polley belongs forgotten in the past like dying of the aids.

by Anonymousreply 22February 21, 2022 7:45 PM

She could be a major A-list movie star - but that never interested her. She was more about the work

She turned down the Julia Stiles part in the "Bourne Identity" series, because she is not interested in commercial film-making

by Anonymousreply 23February 22, 2022 1:22 AM

Vanity Fair put Polley on its Hollywood cover in 1999.

Reese Witherspoon and Thandiwe Newton are the biggest stars, Adrien Brody got his Oscar but isn't a great name, Kate Hudson and Julia Stiles seem to have disappeared from hit movies and Norman Reedus does that zombie show.

Did the others retire from acting? I can't remember anything they've been in of late.

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by Anonymousreply 24February 22, 2022 8:21 AM

Oh Anna Friel is doing that MAGA series with That Trump Enabler Cunt Susan Sarandon.

by Anonymousreply 25February 22, 2022 8:23 AM

She should keep adapting Alice Munro stories. "Away from Her" was superb.

by Anonymousreply 26February 22, 2022 8:28 AM

I am halfway through Sarah Polley’s book Run Towards The Danger. It is excellent.

To accompany it, I watched Stories We Tell. And had I not read her book, I probably wouldn’t interpret SWT through the lens of narcissism that I inevitably do now. I think she subconsciously made SWT and made her family appear as talking heads to punish her parents and to a lesser extent her elder siblings.

She is traumatised by the years of squalor she and her Eccentric Englishman, asexual-leaning, likely autistic and utterly oblivious father lived in after her mother’s death until she moved out at age 14 with her teenage boyfriend, she resents working as a child actor and the physical danger she was placed in by Terry Gilliam (Eric Idle backs her up), loathed The Road To Avonlea, the lack of boundaries she was raised with, spending her early teens socialising at industry events in Toronto and “dating” the 28-year-old Jian Ghomeshi…

And add to this she is a born performer and storyteller who actually loves the spotlight in spite of it all and you get this very good book and interesting documentary.

Her book also sheds light on the mediocre Take This Waltz. The Willliams character is an amalgamation of herself and her mother. Sarah cheated on her first live in boyfriend with his best friend, whom she married and divorced.

by Anonymousreply 27April 12, 2022 11:50 AM

The story suggests that she consented to have vanilla sex with him at age 16 and ran out when he got out of control. The age of consent in Canada is 16 so it's not statutory rape. She continued to have a working relationship with him. He's a slimebag but she wouldn't have been a great witness.

She wasn't me-tood. It was exactly what she always claimed it was--a bad experience.

by Anonymousreply 28April 12, 2022 12:07 PM

Narcissism, r27? She was abused, neglected, lied to and physically hurt by all the adults in her life, and she reveals some of that in the documentary, and you call it narcissism?

by Anonymousreply 29April 12, 2022 12:17 PM

I like her work a lot. She has a tender, raw quality as an actress that is also in her directorial work (I actually liked Take This Waltz, and i'm not a Michelle Williams fan). Alice Munro probably should have shared the Oscar nom for Away From Her, since most of the dialogue in the film is lifted verbatim from the short story, but it's so beautifully directed. The cinematography and music are superb, it's so much more than just a vehicle for Julie Christie.

Sorry she went through what many others did with Ghomeshi. Even before he was caught he had an awful, sleazy, incel-appeal quality (not unlike Joe Rogan but worse). A complete creep.

by Anonymousreply 30April 12, 2022 12:53 PM

[quote] Narcissism, r27? She was abused, neglected, lied to and physically hurt by all the adults in her life, and she reveals some of that in the documentary, and you call it narcissism?

“An artist is someone who can hold two opposing viewpoints and still remain fully functional.“ — F. Scott Fitzgerald

Ending the honeymoon period with her biological father to his prevent him from writing his own version of his relationship with Diane because Sarah wanted to make a movie, directing her mild-mannered father who, thanks to Away From Her she guessed was in the early stages of dementia, to narrate his letter to his siblings on camera, forcing her siblings, at least 2 of whom clearly didn’t want to be there, to reminisce on screen about their dead mother’s traumas and sex life.

All of these things are true and all of them are dealt with in the film. Sarah had a neglected childhood AND she risked causing harm to the people in her life because she wanted to make a movie.

I’m glad she made the movie, because I was entertained.

by Anonymousreply 31April 12, 2022 8:37 PM

R6 Beautiful film. I don't remember an intimation towards the second daughter, though I'm sure she could assume her sister wouldn't be entirely safe. I thought the lock was more to punish her father "I don't want you either". I've seen the film many times. I'll look closer at this next time if you're sure. I have the DVD it's not on BluRay and Criterion had the Egoyan collection on their channel, if he's not a master with some films demanding Criterion physical release, I don't know who is.

by Anonymousreply 32April 14, 2022 5:43 AM

R23 She turned down Franka Potente's part.

by Anonymousreply 33April 14, 2022 5:45 AM

Since you cunts recommended it, I downloaded the book. She goes very into her traumas on movie, TV, and theatre experiences. Jesus fuck, girl had it worse than Anne Frank.

by Anonymousreply 34April 14, 2022 6:52 AM

Wish we had more like Polley. She's a rare bird--subtle actress, excellent directorial instincts. I've admired her since The Sweet Hereafter. Such a smart choice by Egoyan to tie the film together with the Pied Paper story, which isn't in the novel!

Good singer, too, or least a good match of voice/sensibility/intelligence with song.

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by Anonymousreply 35April 14, 2022 7:12 AM

Life is messy, I'm glad she's doing well these days.

by Anonymousreply 36April 14, 2022 8:04 AM

Great actress; not-so-great writer/director.

by Anonymousreply 37April 14, 2022 8:29 AM

[quote] On top of that, in the "Stories We Tell" documentary, she mentions things her family did to her (like icing her out, telling her she wasn't part of the family, a lot of lies) that she just took in stride or even kind of joked about.

I didn’t get that impression of SWT at all. She didn’t give a negative impression of her siblings. And they weren’t an “icing each other out” family but talked about everything, no holds barred. She was plenty mad at her parents for allowing/encouraging her to be a child actor and for raising her with zero boundaries.

by Anonymousreply 38April 29, 2022 4:29 PM

Does anyone still care about these #metoo stories anymore? I mean the general public? We know Hollywood SJWs love to wallow in victimhood. But it's going on 5 years now and they've been done to death. I know I and everyone I know rolls our eyes whenever another story pops up. Also, some of the accusations seem sketchy but were believed just because they were women..

by Anonymousreply 39April 29, 2022 4:41 PM

In her book she mentions that her adopted father is a pedophile and full on retard. Poor Sara. Having to deal with such a horrible man.

by Anonymousreply 40April 29, 2022 4:45 PM

I'm referring to her siblings telling her she wasn't really their sister because she had a different father, r38. This was when she was really young, I recall, like 6 or 7 years old.

by Anonymousreply 41April 29, 2022 5:36 PM

Speak up now, or shut up later.

by Anonymousreply 42April 29, 2022 5:45 PM

R41 that was after the mother died when she was 11.

by Anonymousreply 43April 29, 2022 5:52 PM

[quote] In addition, her interactions with Ghomeshi in subsequent years — including “friendly radio interviews and playful emails” — could also be used to destroy her character.

I don't understand this part of #MeToo at all. Why would she do "friendly radio interviews" and exchange "playful emails" with someone who had previously really done to her what she claims? I can't imagine she necessarily needed to do that to further her career at that stage of the game.

I don't think women have to come forward when they're sexually mistreated or raped. But to keep playing up as an adult to someone who did those things (and who is not even a member of her family) for years later, and THEN to claim publicly he did violent horrible things to you?

by Anonymousreply 44April 29, 2022 5:54 PM

R44, when I was young I was harassed and sexually pressured. Even now, there is nothing I would do to destroy the life and career I have built. I think I am more determined because of it.

So I have smiled at the creep in many professional settings. I will not give him or his friends the opportunity to hurt me, so I play the game.

But if the climate of my field ever changed, I might come forward like Polley did. But not now while it can still harm me.

by Anonymousreply 45April 30, 2022 10:49 PM

R44 He was also very big in Canada before his downfall. If you were promoting a project you basically *had* to appear on his CBC show. He was getting exclusive interviews with Drake, Joni Mitchell, and other big stars who don't normally do interviews.

I find it hard to picture also but i'm guessing some of it was contractually obligated. On top of that, many victims of abuse still have to encounter their abusers in professional settings and a lot of times both parties pretend nothing happened out of shame etc.

by Anonymousreply 46May 1, 2022 3:52 AM

[Quote] She could be a major A-list movie star - but that never interes

I don't know about that. She's a Canadian Toni Collette. Mostly a bridesmaid.

by Anonymousreply 47August 23, 2022 4:38 PM

Did you report him to HR or the police, R45? If you didn’t think it that serious then, why does it need to taken with utmost seriousness now by having the public hear it? Why, as members of the public, are we supposed to care that sometimes gross people hit on people that don’t like it?

I understand the importance about the serious predators but some people want attention and glory (for being a victim?) for being seen as sexual enough to harass.

A Drag Race queen once groped me and I didn’t consent to it. I didn’t like it but I moved away. I don’t need to destroy someone’s livelihood because they made an inappropriate pass when drinking too much in a bar.

by Anonymousreply 48August 23, 2022 5:05 PM

But if that drag queen gropes people on the regular, it's cool?

by Anonymousreply 49August 23, 2022 5:18 PM

Her performance in The Sweet Hereafter bought a lifetime of goodwill from me. Good singer, too.

by Anonymousreply 50March 14, 2023 8:23 PM

Thrilled that she won.

I finished Sarah Polley’s memoir in a few hours earlier in the year, it is brilliant.

by Anonymousreply 51March 15, 2023 7:06 PM
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