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Autumn Sonata (The Criterion Collection)

26 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Ingrid Bergman, Liv Ullmann, Lena Nyman, Halvar Björk, Marianne Aminoff
  • Directors: Ingmar Bergman
  • Writers: Ingmar Bergman
  • Format: Color, DVD-Video, Letterboxed, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: PG
  • Studio: eOne Films
  • Release Date: Jan. 11 2000
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0780021118
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #70,395 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Product Description

A stunning union of two of Sweden's national treasures, Autumn Sonata pairs Ingmar Bergman with Ingrid Bergman for their only joint effort. Ingrid plays a mother who, after forsaking her family for a music career, attempts a reconciliation with her oldest daughter (Liv Ullmann) through a night of painful revelation. Sven Nykvist contributes glorious Eastmancolor cinematography to this quietly beautiful story of forgiveness. Criterion is proud to present Autumn Sonata in a gorgeous digital transfer.

Bergman (Ingrid) meets Bergman (Ingmar) in this fine but not outstanding story from 1978 of a concert pianist who meets up with her estranged daughter (Liv Ullmann) for the first time in seven years, and spends an evening confronting unresolved ill feelings from the past. Ingmar's been down this road plenty of times and in better films (Cries and Whispers); but even as a minor work, this is a powerful piece with two top actresses of their day. This was Ingrid Bergman's last film. --Tom Keogh --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By K. Gordon TOP 50 REVIEWER on May 21 2012
Format: DVD
While I remembered this as an unalloyed masterpiece from seeing it in the theater on first release,
I had a few small problems re-seeing it 32 years later.

But, in the end, it is a remarkable film, featuring two amazing performances from Liv Ullman and
Ingrid Bergman as a mother and daughter desperately hashing out old wounds during a visit paid
by the mother, a famous pianist and cold perfectionist. Meanwhile her daughter has clung to old
hurts to the point of self-paralysis.

A moving testament to the need for forgiveness and growth.

But some of the peripheral story elements feel a bit tacked on, and to perhaps stack the deck too
easily to one side, particularly a sickly younger sister that Bergman's character can barely deal with.
It's a minor flaw, since the power of the key confrontations carries the film to the heights (and depths).

But I couldn't help wishing Bergman had trusted us a bit more to work out our own feelings about
two complex characters, as he did with the even more brilliant 'Scenes From a Marriage'.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 24 2004
Format: DVD
Both. Ingrid Bergman (in an Oscar-nominated performance - her last feature role) returned to Swedish cinema after 4 decades to play a pianist coming home to an problematic reunion with her daughter (Liv Ullmann-great as always).Yet another reason why Sven Nykvist have so many admirers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Gerlach on Oct. 1 2002
Format: DVD
If you are contemplating suicide but can't find enough angst to be decisive, watch "Autumn Sonata",Ingrid Bergman's last film, and only collaboration with Ingmar. The dialogue and acting are terrific and very, well, real, but I doubt I'll ever recover my former sense of humor, since apparently:
1. Life is a steaming pile of excrement.
2.Relationships are tenuous and scarring,
and finally
3.Nobody really loves anyone.
Oh well, even bad IB is better than other stuff. So, open up your best bottle of red wine, lock up the razor blades and enjoy 8).
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Format: DVD
I had to learn the hard way, that there are less than "perfect" renditions of this DVD out there to be sold. The first I bought was one of these. I won't go on to "name call", but paying extra for the Criterion Collection is a must for any Bergman fan. The poor film quality and subtitles (to the point they are distracting from the film and at times so bad they are humerous) make paying anything at all a sheer waste of money for a Criterion Collection substitute.
I don't agree that Autumn Sonata is a mediocre film. I think Bergman did understand women well, and portrayed this mother/daughter relationship nicely. He was able to show in his dialectically opposite approach, the vulnerabilities of the narcisstic artist and the self depreciating/ martyr. They exposed themselves, faced off and retreated to their comfortable life positions by the end of the movie. The use of the unnamed ailment of the younger daughter represents the other side of mother who often cries as a baby of her back pain, but at least is left whole enough to express herself also in her music. The death of the son at age four I think represents the symbolic death of the innocence in all of the "chamber music" of characters in this film (mother, daughters and husband) which Bergman uses in many of his movies. The sparing use of scenery and number of protagonists adds to the reality of the despair here. Anyway, I could go on too long....enough said. I think this movie is worth a watch and a long ponder.
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By A Customer on March 18 2002
Format: DVD
Ingmar Bergman really made Charlotte (played by Ingrid Bergman) to be a selfish and self-centered pianist, who is unaware of the damage that she caused her family. Moreover, she doesn't want to see the damage that she caused. Hint--the 7 year absence and her initial refusal to see Helena. I just have one question....
Would Charlotte have been a better mother to Eva and Helena if she had stayed at home? That's the question that needs to be addressed in "Autumn Sonata." Unfortunately, Ingmar Bergman refused to acknowledge it. As a result, we're left with a lop-sided movie.
In my humble opinion, I think Charlotte would have been a worse mother if she had stayed home, and was actually doing Eva and Helena a favor by going out on the road. There has been a lot of studies conducted on the effects that career-women and housewives have on their children. In some instances, the children were better off with the career-women who weren't at home so much. The career women were less likely to take out their stress and frustration on their children and instead channel them in a positive manner at work. Isn't this what Charlotte was doing? All right I asked two questions.
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Format: DVD
To begin with, this is another outstanding transfer by Criterion of a Bergman film. I think other reviewers have made a formidable case both for the excellence of the film and of the remastered transfer. I would like merely to highlight for prospective buyers one possibly overlooked advantage to this DVD edition, namely, the alternative English language audio track, in which the voices are dubbed by the original actors. I usually avoid films that have been dubbed into English, but there are times in which dubbing is more desirable than subtitles, and "Autumn Sonata" happens to offer one of them. I realize many people understandably are suspicious of films dubbed into English, and as a rule I too prefer substitles to dubbing. And yet, I encourage you to try watching this film both with subtitles and the dubbed voices. Since the film has been dubbed using the original voices, one need not worry that Bergman or Ulmann's lines are being interpreted for them by someone else. In fact, the English translation in the dubbed audio track is far superior to the subtitled translation (probably because subtitles are meant to be READ and not SPOKEN). One day, I decided, just as an experiment, to try out the dubbed audio track, and was surprised to find that my experience of the film was enhanced for a couple of reasons. First of all, "Autumn Sonata" has so many passages of extremely dense dialogue, that I often found myself watching the bottom 1/3 of the screen rather than Sven Nykvist's superb photography. One of the most remarkable aspects of "Autumn Sonata" is Bergman's use of the close-up.Read more ›
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