Face To Face (Ansikte Mot Ansikte)


(out of 5)

Mildly successful drama by Ingmar Bergman probes the female psyche but features too many ridiculous flourishes to be taken too seriously.  is excellent as an emotionally fragile psychiatrist whose sanity is slowly breaking down as she succumbs to the disturbing experiences that made up her troubled childhood. This also has an adverse effect on her marriage to a man who is himself a doctor, and we watch as she goes through her days and some rather odd encounters while trying to resist her mind’s descent into madness. It’s a lot graver than most Hollywood films ever dare to be, particularly on the subject of mental illness, and Ullmann’s acting can’t be faulted for a second, but it also plays into some pretty cliched views of female psychology (a secret desire to be raped?) that render it lifeless and dated. I prefer Bergman when he’s letting artistic sensibilities take over his serious drama, like the colour-satured Cries And Whispers or the hauntingly atmospheric Persona.

Cinematograph AB, Sveriges Radio

Sweden/Italy, 1976

Directed by

Screenplay by Ingmar Bergman

Cinematography by

Produced by 

Production Design by ,

Film Editing by

Academy Awards 1976

Golden Globe Awards 1976

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