Whatever one thinks of Jane Fonda — and opinions run the gamut — there’s no denying that the actress/activist has lived a fascinating life.
That becomes even clearer in HBO’s “Jane Fonda in Five Acts” (Monday, 8 EDT/PDT), a documentary from Susan Lacy (“Spielberg”) that illuminates the two-time Oscar winner’s life, from her difficult relationship with her movie-hero father, to her reinventions on- and off-camera to her present-day independence and — finally — self-acceptance.
“I had spent so much of my life feeling if I’m not perfect, no one can love me.” says Fonda, now 80, at the end of a 2-hour-plus film that includes archival recordings and more recent interviews conducted for the film with Fonda, son Troy Garity, Robert Redford, Dick Cavett and others. “Then, I realized … we have to embrace and accept our shadows. Sometimes, good enough is good enough.”
You already know the famous father (Henry), the marriages to accomplished, controlling men (filmmaker Roger Vadim, political activist Tom Hayden and media mogul Ted Turner) and the vaunted film career (“Barefoot in the Park,” “Klute,” “9 to 5”), but “Five Acts” — four are named for her father and three husbands and the final one for her — includes lesser known, sometimes more revealing details, too.
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