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.
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.
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.
Ingmar Bergman, meanwhile, employs the variously clumsy and preposterous technique of having his characters address the "audience" (i.e., the camera) directly in a few scenes. This isn't to say that this doesn't work well in other films, but within the sober and somewhat naturalistic tone of the film, the "soliloquys" come off as nothing so much as... well, goofy. The entire project of Autumn Sonata seems to allude to a director who has become more comfortable telling us rather than showing us.Read more ›