Autumn Sonata

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After seven years of separation, an internationally famous, icy concert pianist (Ingrid Bergman) returns home to visit her long-suffering daughter (Liv Ullmann). Over the course of a day and a long, painful night that the two spend together, they finally confront the bitter discord of their relationship. (British Film Institute (BFI))

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English In Autumn Sonata, Ingmar Bergman gives the audience the chance to glimpse the inner workings a woman and into hidden corners of her psyche, gradually revealing a seriously disturbed mother-daughter relationship. It is a sight so intense that it made me feel incredibly uneasy at times. The quality and timelessness of the film is unquestionable, yet it did not impress me as much as I expected. (75%) ()


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English The first Bergman that lost me, absolutely, in terms of theme and, primarily, emotions. I wouldn’t expect that of all directors he would put a handicapped, unwanted daughter, an abortion, infidelity, the tragic death of a child and many other “cheaply powerful" artsy topics. Which might have worked even so, if this weren’t his most talkative picture. Or rather, empty waffling from the first to the last minute. While the same could have easily been intimated by silence, too. And as the only scene where we find some good old benign silence (yes, the one where they are sitting at the piano) is so much more powerful. The more I think about it, rather than the entire movie, the short passage devoted to this in Bergman’s “Magic Lantern". In terms of power and impact this couple of paragraphs is in a completely different class than the entire Autumn Sonata which in my eyes (and ears, due to the shouting) should have tried mopey autumnal melancholy instead of theatrical affect. Then I would have taken pity on it. Gladly. ()



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English Ingmar Bergman simply had great actors for his films, but I can't help but notice that gradually, he showed that he worked much better with actresses and could really get the most out of them in his work. That is also true of this film. It's focused on women, and actresses have excellent performances. ()

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