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Critic’s Choice: ‘Jane Fonda in Five Acts’ covers the life and career of the ever-evolving actress

Jane Fonda speaking at an anti-war rally in San Francisco, CA (1972). Photo Credit: Everett Collecti
Jane Fonda speaking at a 1972 antiwar rally in San Francisco, from the documentary “Jane Fonda in Five Acts.”
(Everett Collection / HBO Documentary Films)

Following her recent insightful documentary on Steven Spielberg, director Susan Lacy has done an equally strong job with “Jane Fonda in Five Acts,” which began running on HBO this week.

This smart and thorough doc captures the contradictions, complexities and insecurities of the self-aware Fonda, a woman who is nothing if not bracingly honest about her struggles.

Lacy has taken the unexpected tack of dividing the film into acts largely based on the men in Fonda’s life: father Henry and husbands Roger Vadim, Tom Hayden and Ted Turner, before concluding with the actress herself. When Jane Fonda says, “I am what I am,” we feel its an equanimity she has earned.

kenneth.turan@latimes.com

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@KennethTuran


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