Tale of Tales (Il racconto dei racconti) (2016) - Rotten Tomatoes

Tale of Tales (Il racconto dei racconti) (2016)



Critic Consensus: Visually splendid and narratively satisfying, Tale of Tales packs an off-kilter wallop for mature viewers in search of something different.

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Movie Info

Once upon a time there were three neighboring kingdoms each with a magnificent castle, from which ruled kings and queens, princes and princesses. One king was a fornicating libertine, another captivated by a strange animal, while one of the queens was obsessed by her wish for a child. Sorcerers and fairies, fearsome monsters, ogres and old washerwomen, acrobats and courtesans are the protagonists of this loose interpretation of the celebrated tales of Giambattista Basile.

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Salma Hayek
as Queen of Longtrellis
John C. Reilly
as King of Longtrellis
Toby Jones
as King of Highhills
Vincent Cassel
as King of Strongcliff
Laura Pizzirani
as Jonah's mother
Michael Martini
as 1st Circus Boy
Franco Pistoni
as Negromante
Alessandro Campagna
as 2nd Circus Boy
Jessie Cave
as Fenizia
Bebe Cave
as Viola
Nicola Sloane
as Handmaiden
Stacy Martin
as Young Dora
Renato Scarpa
as Barbiere
Giuseppina Cervizzi
as Lady of the Court
Giselda Volodi
as Lady of the Court
Vincenzo Nemolato
as Circus Performer
Giulio Beranek
as Circus Performer
Davide Campagna
as Circus Performer
Kenneth Collard
as Knife Sharpener
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News & Interviews for Tale of Tales (Il racconto dei racconti)

Critic Reviews for Tale of Tales (Il racconto dei racconti)

All Critics (98) | Top Critics (20)

It balances otherworldliness and banality, sublimity and grotesquery, wonder and horror.

June 2, 2016 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

There have been a glut of fairy tale adaptations, from "Into the Woods," "Maleficient" and "Jack the Giant Slayer" to the network TV shows "Grimm" and "Once Upon a Time," but if you're a fan make room for "Tale of Tales."

May 12, 2016 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

More spellbinding than satisfying, but memorable and even haunting all the same.

May 5, 2016 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Tale of Tales is the most faithful and creatively rendered fairy tale onscreen to date, bizarrely satisfying and totally worth a patient, focused viewing.

April 29, 2016 | Full Review…

The director invests his filmmaking with so much bawdy, darkly comic energy that it's all the more perplexing that "Tale of Tales" never quite stirs to life.

April 28, 2016 | Full Review…

Garrone has created a world of both rich and ugly textures - visual, narrative and imaginative - that transports, delights and imparts disturbing lessons.

April 28, 2016 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Tale of Tales (Il racconto dei racconti)


Set in a beautifully lurid world of magic and eccentricity, with sumptuous costumes, lavish hair and beguiling makeup (and even some nice acting), "Tale of Tales" is much more a visual entertainment than a tale. The story is a bizarre stream of consciousness seemingly designed for the sole purpose of exhibiting the next grotesque vision of an otherwise capable director. All the stars I awarded are for style and technical execution -- certainly not for storytelling.

Christian C
Christian C

Super Reviewer


The costume design and art direction stand out in this messy film that lacks cohesion and suffers from serious tonal problems as it moves from amusing dark farce into something uncomfortably grotesque - and it is frustrating that it doesn't seem to go anywhere.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


Beautiful. Sometimes, you just want to look at a piece of art, and this moving painting does not disappoint. Three different stories, loosely tied to each other in continuity and fully tied to each other thematically are effectively interwoven to create and subvert the modern fairy tale. Much of it is comical, most of it is disturbing, and all of it is compelling. It is so compelling that you almost forget the low points. There are a few minutes of drag time, and Hayek is a bit wooden. The conclusion seems to be...arbitrary? I can imagine allusions to The Princess Bride being drawn, but I would definitely prefer to watch this one if given the option. It has enough boobs and ogres to keep the simpleton watching, and it is intellectually stimulating enough that a fun-loving cinephile would readily enjoy it for all that it is.

K Nife Churchkey
K Nife Churchkey

Super Reviewer

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