Autumn Sonata (1978)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBBB

Original title:  Hostsonaten

France/West Germany/Sweden, 1978.  Personafilm, Filmédis, Incorporated Television Company, Suede Film.  Screenplay by Ingmar Bergman.  Cinematography by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

This magnificent drama is notable for being the last feature film in which Ingrid Bergman appeared (and the only time she and her namesake ever worked together). She plays a famous musician who visits her homely, shy daughter (Liv Ullmann) for an extended vacation which starts with pleasantries and small talk before Ullmann unloads upon her mother every single woe she ever had during her childhood.

Instead of being depressing, this sobering film offers its women a chance to undergo the worst emotional experience in a healing, cathartic way. Brilliantly acted, written, directed and photographed, it’s a standout achievement by a master filmmaker and his equally impressive stars. Ingrid Bergman got all the attention from the critics for her performance (as well as an Oscar nomination), but the film belongs to the work of both women.

The Criterion Collection:  #60

Academy Award Nominations:  Best Actress (Ingrid Bergman); Best Foreign Language Film

Golden Globe Award:  Best Foreign Film
Nomination: Best Actress-Drama (Ingrid Bergman)


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