Canadian actress, writer and director Sarah Polley celebrates her 38th today. She began working as a child performer in Canadian television, first as the title character in Ramona, a series adapted from Beverly Cleary’s series of children’s novels, and then starring for several years as Sara Stanley, the lead character of Road to Avonlea, adapted from the novels of Lucy Maud Montgomery.
In the late 1990s, Polley began to build an impressive resume in independent films. She had a pivotal role in Atom Egoyan’s The Sweet Hereafter, and in 1999 appeared in several films, including David Cronenberg’s Existenz and Doug Liman’s Go:
The biographical film has a pretty checkered history. Sometimes the real facts of a person’s life need only a little dramatic polishing to produce something truly entertaining and meaningful. Other times you can feel the filmmakers stretching to really fill out what should be a fascinating story because while the events or accomplishments may be enormously important, that doesn’t mean that they are very cinematic. Unfortunately, despite some truly wonderful and engaging elements, the new Stephen Hawking biopic too often falls into the latter category.