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Autumn Sonata (The Criterion Collection)

Ingrid Bergman , Liv Ullmann , Ingmar Bergman    PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)   DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
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Product Description


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

Special Features

SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES � New 2K digital film restoration � Introduction by director Ingmar Bergman from 2003 � Audio commentary featuring Bergman expert Peter Cowie � The Making of �Autumn Sonata,� a three-and-a-half-hour program examining every aspect of the production � New interview with actor Liv Ullmann � A 1981 conversation between actor Ingrid Bergman and critic John Russell Taylor at the National Film Theatre in London � Trailer � English-dubbed track � New English subtitle translation � PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Farran Smith Nehme

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars my favorite Bergman (Ingrid or Ingmar ?) May 24 2004
By A Customer
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Two spectacular performances May 21 2012
By K. Gordon TOP 50 REVIEWER
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bergman at his best May 28 2004
By A Customer
This is probably one of the most underrated movies of all time.Maybe Bergman did stuff like this in the past,but that does not mean that isn't great.Ingrid Bergman gives so much ...You will never see her like that in any other movie.Maybe is the director...maybe she knew how special it was.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Straight to the bottle.. Oct. 1 2002
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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4.0 out of 5 stars an excellent but slow paced film. May 11 2004
By Ted
This review is for the Criterion Collection DVD edition of the film.
In this film, the only movie that both Ingrid and Ingmar Bergman (no relation) were both involved in. In this film a woman visits her daughter at her home and attempts to reconcile with her.
This film is definately not one thatmost people would find interesting and is almost like a soap opera.
The DVD has a theatrical trailer and audio commentary by Peter Cowie.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bergmans May 8 2004
By A Customer
Ingmar Bergman is probably the greatest filmmaker of all time.Ingrid the greatest actress,remember she worked with Renoir,Hitchcock and Ingmar (among others) But,as always,is a Liv Ullmann movie.Liv Ullmann (with Ingrid Thulin) is the ultimate Bergman actress.The main thing here is really this 2 great actress...everything else seems pointless.At this point the great master didn't have anything else to prove ,and he let them fly.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Typical Bergman, Typically Great Oct. 28 2003
I remember watching this wrenching drama in a movie theater so quiet one could literally hear a pin drop. The film itself is standard Bergman - Lutheran pastor, family problems within the scope of strained family relationships, a quiet denouement.
The acting is magnificent and the slow, barely perceptible comprehension of the source of the anger between daughter and mother (Ingrid Bergman and Liv Ullman) is breathtaking in its intensity. The tension-filled. The scene where, in the brief interlude from the fight, the afflicted younger sister crawls onto the stairs and pierces the silence with incomprehensible speech is riveted into my brain. Great film and great acting.
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5.0 out of 5 stars don't buy cheaper DVD substitutes Oct. 24 2003
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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