Susan Lacy constructs a compelling portrait exploring the many facets of the living legend.
Sundance Program Description:
Will the real Jane Fonda please stand up? This catchphrase (from the old TV show TO TELL THE TRUTH), sums up the heart of master documentarian Susan Lacy’s definitive examination into the life and work of a true American icon who has always confounded labels and outpaced the zeitgeist. Girl next door, sex kitten, political activist, traitor, fitness tycoon, feminist, Academy Award winner – Jane Fonda has lived a life of controversy, tragedy, and transformation, all in the public eye.
Fonda opens her soul to Lacy in a blend of vulnerability, magnetism, and bravery, exposing her life and her missteps. She explores the pain of her mother’s suicide, her father’s emotional unavailability, 30 years of bulimia, and three marriages to high-profile, diametrically opposed men. JANE FONDA IN FIVE ACTS is a star-studded yet profoundly intimate look at one extraordinarily singular journey. Lacy’s film, as its title implies, is structured into five parts. The first four are named for men in Fonda’s life. It’s in the fifth act that the real Jane Fonda stands up.
Past Sundance docs:
MAYA ANGELOU: AND STILL I RISE (2016, executive producer)
A FIERCE GREEN FIRE (2012, executive producer)
TROUBADOURS (2011, executive producer)
JOAN RIVERS: A PIECE OF WORK (2010, executive producer)
THE EDUCATION OF GORE VIDAL (2003, executive producer)
ROBERT CAPA IN LOVE AND WAR (2003, executive producer)
COMING TO LIGHT: EDWARD S CURTIS AND THE NORTH AMERICAN INDIANS (2000, executive producer)
HITCHCOCK, SELZNICK AND THE END OF HOLLYWOOD (1999, executive producer)
LOU REED: ROCK AND ROLL HEART (1998, executive producer)
PAUL SIMON: BORN AT THE RIGHT TIME (1993, director/producer)
WALDO SALT: A SCREENWRITER’S JOURNEY (1990, executive producer)
PRESTON STURGES: THE RISE AND FALL OF AN AMERICAN DREAMER (1990, executive producer)
DIRECTED BY WILLIAM WYLER (1987, executive producer)
The multi-Emmy and Grammy Award-winning Lacy is the creator and former executive producer of PBS’s American Masters. She now makes films under her Pentimento Productions shingle, which has a multiyear deal with HBO Documentary Films. Prior to American Masters, she ran the East Coast office of the Sundance Institute.
Levin and Pildes followed Lacy from American Masters to Pentimento Productions. Levin previously served as a production consultant on Sundance alum QUEST FOR HONOR (2009), while Pildes worked on the production staff of alums SING YOUR SONG (2011) and ENRON: THE SMARTEST GUYS IN THE ROOM (2005).
Gray also cut INVENTING DAVID GEFFEN, which Lacy produced and directed.
The Emmy-winning Liem has previously edited episodes of American Masters under Lacy, but this marks her first Sundance project.
Why You Should Watch:
With an acting career spanning six decades, a second career in fitness, her highly visible – and controversial – activist work, and her Hollywood lineage and personal life, Fonda’s biography could fill a miniseries. Lacey’s extensive experience at American Masters makes her uniquely qualified to synthesize Fonda’s story, and she does so in an entertaining and engaging way here.
For Sundance screening dates and times, click the film title in the first paragraph.