Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB. France/West Germany/Sweden, 1978. Personafilm, Filmédis, Incorporated Television Company, Suede Film. Screenplay by Ingmar Bergman. Cinematography by Sven Nykvist. Production Design by Anna Asp. Costume Design by Inger Pehrsson. Film Editing by Sylvia Ingemarsson. Academy Awards 1978. Golden Globe Awards 1978. New York Film Critics Awards 1978.
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.