Jane Fonda in Five Acts

 (227)8.02 h 13 min201816+
[HBO] HD. Jane Fonda speaks candidly and frankly about her life, loves, causes and missteps in this documentary.
Susan Lacy
Robert RedfordLily TomlinPaula Weinstein
English [CC]
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Supporting actors
Tom HaydenTed Turner
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4.7 out of 5 stars

227 global ratings

  1. 85% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 9% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 3% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 0% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 3% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

Tina G.Reviewed in the United States on October 14, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
Something everyone should be watching, regardless of your political stance, background, etc...
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This documentary is something everyone should be watching. I wasn’t bored for one moment and was glued to the TV screen. Raw and real Jane Fonda.
Jane’s life has been interesting at all times and makes for one of the best documentaries I’ve seen in a while. What to expect: no topic is off-limits, life with her father and mother from early days to when they each passed away, how she became a movie star, her marriages (the good times and the bad), the struggles she has had being a mother and where she fell short and how it affects her relationship with her children now, her workout tape and the unexpected success, her activism and the more well-known incident at Hanoi (and what comes along with being an activist- FBI following her). Multiple people give interviews throughout- Lily Tomlin, Ted Turner, Tom Hayden, Robert Redford, Dick Cavett, and two of her children (probably more I’m forgetting). There is more but don’t want to spoil it all- watch the film, I doubt you will be disappointed.
Overall I absolutely recommend this documentary-5 stars easily. You get a sense that Jane has never completely found herself and it probably won’t be the last we hear from her.

Parental advisory/trigger warnings: suicide of her mother (slitting her throat while institutionalized), sexual abuse mentioned twice, war talk/video, divorce, absentee/lack of emotion in father, anorexia/bulimia, diet pills, exercise, father calling her fat/comments about her body, father’s womanizing, nudity in Barbarella (getting drunk to do scene), postpartum depression, struggles being a mother.
22 people found this helpful
THE PROFESSORReviewed in the United States on February 3, 2019
1.0 out of 5 stars
Old Footage, New Excuses, Same Ol' Jane
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If you love Jane Fonda and think she's the greatest thing to happen to the country since the British lost the American Revolution or even as recently as when her father did his bit in WWII, I'm sure you'll enjoy this documentary (complete with lots of maligning of Henry Fonda, whose only uses she could ever stomach involved helping to pay her bills and move along her career). There's a new layer of blame revealed for the slight misstep of treason she committed, as now it seems we ware to believe it was living in France and being a "sponge" while pregnant that informed her efforts against the soldiers fighting the Vietnam War and the war, generally. The old bits about her not really trying to incite insurrection amongst soldiers or in any way betray her country are then recycled with little insight. The rest is just apologetics for various bits of life other than acting and spotlights on her later career successes. So, if you or a loved one had the slightest connection to the Vietnam War, I'd give it a miss. If you're a Fonda fan, give it a go. If you don't fit either category, there's no compelling reason to bother.
21 people found this helpful
PJS from Ann ArborReviewed in the United States on September 25, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
Deeper than I thought a documentary would be able to go with Fonda
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This is an excellent documentary and surely, for me at least, the first real glimpse I have had into Jane Fonda the daughter, the mother, the wife, the actress, the self. She possesses an authenticity and energy that is captured quite well. I highly recommend this documentary, in all ways.

I am very glad this documentary was made (and by such talented people); even if you disagree with Fonda or feel you don't like her, she is one special human. And this is one special documentary.
18 people found this helpful
Brigette SupernovaReviewed in the United States on November 10, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
An honest, sincere documentary
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I'm often skeptical of documentaries that rely heavily on interviews with the subject; they tend to not be as objective. But in this case, Ms. Fonda is brutally honest about her own life, insecurities, flaws, and allows the film makers and viewers to decide for themselves how we feel about many of the more pivotal moments of her career and activism. Perhaps the most pivotal moment in this doc is exploring how her history-making workout video not only revolutionized the home entertainment industry (long before her next husband Ted Turner did!), but that is was also a rebellious act that bolstered her activism, and she was candid about the "lie" of her own battle with bulimia at this time. This is a really wonderful movie for all women to watch, especially those of us feeling "lost" as we are actually just beginning to mature and come into our own as leaders, organizers, mothers/grandmothers, bosses, intersectional feminists, and more! I am an even bigger fan of Fonda now as a result of watching this movie--not as an entertainer, but as a steadfast, powerful, beautifully flawed woman.
11 people found this helpful
alltatupReviewed in the United States on October 7, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
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What a pleasure it was to watch this documentary. I'm around 13 years younger than Fonda, but we were members of the same generation.
I love how honest she is about what her parents were like, and how she tried so hard to find the person or thing who/which would help her to find her identity. I also respect how deep her vein of activism runs throughout her life and her ability to care for oppressed people.
I've always deeply respected her as an actress and I consider her an exceptional one. Now I also know about how much emotional intelligence she's learned over the course of a lifetime. Mad respect for Jane.
13 people found this helpful
Maggie M.E.Reviewed in the United States on October 8, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
The best doc. on someone's life while they are still here I've ever seen
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There is a lot to learn from this woman's life- what a fantastic life. So full. Mistakes, horrible ones even, but the continuation of growth, the honesty, the courage to change, is inspiring as hell. I cried three times. What a woman.
12 people found this helpful
Lara Reviewed in the United States on February 6, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
Brought Me to Tears
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Being in my 20s, I wasn't familiar with most of Jane Fonda's life, activism or work. However, after watching her in the movie Monster In Law, and most recently on Grace and Frankie, there was something about her I knew I liked.

After watching this documentary, I realize why I was so drawn to her. I resonate with this woman a lot! Now, I love her!

Jane gets very candid about her family, her marriages and the role men played in her life (the use of the "Acts" was clever), her activism, and her successes as well as pitfalls.

If you've had a rough childhood or found your sense of self lost in relationships, I almost guarantee this will bring you to tears. If you are trying to find yourself, live more authentically, passionate about activism, or starting over in life, you will find a few things to love about this documentary.

I also liked how this was edited and produced. There are various present-day interview style shots with Jane and various people in her life, present and past video footage, old photos and videos with good narration, and a coherent flow that makes it feel like you're Jane's therapist, and she's just going through her entire life with you.
3 people found this helpful
Holly AresReviewed in the United States on September 25, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
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Very inspirational!
In my opinion for many of us women the quest of defining who we really are doesn't have a time frame.I thank Jane for sharing her story as another couragious example of femininity,strength and determination.
12 people found this helpful
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