Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Autumn Sonata (Ingmar Bergman, 1978)

****½
Sweden



Had Ingmar Bergman delivered this familiarly harrowing mother-daughter confessional in the lead-up to his masterful Cries and Whispers, it would have been held in much higher regard. Instead it was [and is] often greeted as practically an anticlimax, since it doesn't quite match the ferocity and lacerating insight of that other work. This is particularly unfair since: a) what work could?; and b) the layers, the questions, the conflicting and therefore revealing motives with which Ingrid Bergman (in what is unquestionably her greatest performance) and Liv Ullmann invest their roles are worth tears, adulation and multiple viewings, at least.

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