Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
Original title: Fanny Och Alexander
Sweden/France/West Germany, 1982. Cinematograph AB, Svenska Filminstitutet, Gaumont, Personafilm, SVT Drama, Tobis. Screenplay by Ingmar Bergman. Cinematography by Sven Nykvist. Produced by Jorn Donner. Music by Daniel Bell. Production Design by Anna Asp. Costume Design by Marik Vos-Lundh. Film Editing by Sylvia Ingemarsson. Academy Awards 1983. Golden Globe Awards 1983. National Board of Review Awards 1983. New York Film Critics Awards 1983.
This lovely film was the last grand masterpiece to come from Ingmar Bergman and is still one of his most beloved films. Running at an epic three hours (cut down from the six hour version aired on Swedish television, which is now available on DVD), it follows the magical experiences of two children, the brother and sister of the title, whose theatrically employed father dies at an early age and darkens their lives forever. Their mother remarries to a bishop who puts them through a hellish ordeal of strict religious living that turns abusive very quickly. The adventures these children survive are illuminated by Bergman’s uncanny sense of the children’s point of view, and discovering the world they live in is a treat for anyone of any age who watches it. Phenomenally successful, it was also the first foreign language film to win as many as four Oscars (a record that was tied by Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon but has yet to be broken).