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5 Sarah Polley projects to check out after her Oscar win for ‘Women Talking’

Toronto filmmaker Sarah Polley won her first Academy Award Sunday night for the drama “Women Talking.”

Donning a tuxedo as she accepted the Oscar for best adapted screenplay, Polley highlighted in her speech that the film isn’t just about women talking to each other — it’s also about women listening to each other.

The film was adapted from the novel by fellow Canadian Miriam Toews, which was based on true events and follows women in a Mennonite community as they debate how to respond to an epidemic of sexual abuse.

“Unlike any film you’ve seen before.” – Variety

While the film has received critical acclaim — it was also up for best picture at the Academy Awards — it’s not Polley’s first notable project; the filmmaker has had an extensive career. Polley began as a child actor who rose to early fame on the Canadian TV show “Road to Avonlea.” She later spent time as an anti-poverty activist in her 20s, and continued in entertainment as a writer and director.

Here are five other projects of Polley’s that you should know about.

Away From Her (2006) Download Full Dvd Movie

Based on the short story by Alice Munro called “The Bear Came Over the Mountain,” the feature film “Away From Her” depicts a husband who struggles with his wife’s Alzheimer’s. After she moves into a nursing home, she unknowingly betrays him with another resident. The drama earned Polley Academy Award nominations for best writing and adapted screenplay.

Stories We Tell (2012)

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In this personal documentary, Polley digs into her family’s past and uncovers long-hidden secrets. After being raised by actors Michael Polley and Diane Polley (who died when Sarah was just 11), the filmmaker shares the painful story of how she found out Michael was not her biological father. Among several awards, the documentary earned praise at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival for “its intelligent style that shows that real life can sometimes be make-believe, and that sometimes in films — as in life — lies may have the charming ability to show a higher truth.”

Take this Waltz (2011)

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Starring Michelle Williams, Seth Rogen, and Luke Kirby, “Take this Waltz” is a romantic drama in which a woman falls for an artist who lives across the street — and finds herself daydreaming about a life outside of her happy marriage. The forbidden love story takes place in Toronto, and features city landmarks in Kensington Market, Trinity Bellwoods Park, Centre Island and more.

Hey Lady (2020)

Don’t ever tell a 75-year-old to go quietly into the night. Hey Lady! is a CBC Gem original comedy series about a wiry old gal with a whiskey voice and a bourbon appetite. Watch here:

This short-form CBC Gem series delivers laughs in five-minute bursts. The eight-episode comedy follows a 75-year-old woman (played by Jayne Eastwood) who refuses to follow society’s expectations for a woman her age. She’s adventurous, blunt and unbothered.

Run Towards the Danger (2022)

BK-POLLEY-NEWS Run Towards the Danger, by Sarah Polley, Hamish Hamilton, 259 pages, $35

 Uploaded by: Deborah Dundas

“Run Towards the Danger” is Polley’s first book of essays which she writes, holds “the most dangerous stories of my life: the ones I have avoided, the ones I haven’t told, the ones that have kept me awake on countless nights.”

In the essay “The Woman Who Stayed Silent,” Polley recounts a bad date with disgraced former CBC host Jian Ghomeshi that she says occurred when she was 16 and he was “around 28.” She didn’t initially go public with the story when allegations of sexual assault and misconduct broke against Ghomeshi, who was later acquitted of all charges.

The decision to tell this and the other stories came after a concussion in 2015. A specialist told Polley as part of her treatment, that “if you remember one thing from this meeting, remember this: run towards the danger.” She wrote in the book that she had to retrain her brain from injury by “charging towards the very activities that triggered my symptoms.”

With files from Peter Howell and Deborah Dundas


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