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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars my favorite Bergman (Ingrid or Ingmar ?)
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.
Published on May 24 2004

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Straight to the bottle..
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...
Published on Oct. 1 2002 by J. Gerlach


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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
This review is from: Autumn Sonata (The Criterion Collection) (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
5.0 out of 5 stars Two spectacular performances, May 21 2012
By 
K. Gordon - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Autumn Sonata (The Criterion Collection) (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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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 review is from: Autumn Sonata (The Criterion Collection) (DVD)
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
By 
J. Gerlach "Jen" (Austin, Tx United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Autumn Sonata (The Criterion Collection) (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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4.0 out of 5 stars an excellent but slow paced film., May 11 2004
By 
Ted "Ted" (Pennsylvania, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Autumn Sonata (The Criterion Collection) (DVD)
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
This review is from: Autumn Sonata (The Criterion Collection) (DVD)
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
By 
This review is from: Autumn Sonata (The Criterion Collection) (DVD)
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
By 
irishalto (Boston, MA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Autumn Sonata (The Criterion Collection) (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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3.0 out of 5 stars A SO-SO BERGMAN FILM, July 16 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Autumn Sonata (The Criterion Collection) (DVD)
I think Autumn Sonata distinguishes itself by being one of the few mediocre Bergman films, in a career of otherwise exhilarating triumphs and tedious failures. (In the latter category, films such as Devil's Eye and The Rite come to mind, among a handful of others.) Ingrid Bergman and Liv Ullmann clearly do their best with the material, but unfortunately the material is a little heavy-handed and, at the same time, mundane. The mother-daughter conflict dramatized in Autumn Sonata is merely a talky regurgitation of standard Psych 101 fare; it is the somewhat tired scenario of the controlling, aloof, and egocentric mother versus the insecure, repressed, and resentful daughter. One of the main problems with this dynamic is that Bergman (surprisingly) fails to elaborate on these characters in an interesting or unique way. Instead, Liv Ulmman and Ingrid Bergman are reduced to reciting the pat psychological positions of these two woman without ever making them human, real, or anything beyond case studies. Ingrid Bergman is nevertheless effective, given the limitations of the material, in her harsh, muscular performance, and Liv Ullmann works admirably but unsuccessfully to make her character sympathetic and nuanced, but neither is allowed to break free from the often bland, one-note script.
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. The exposition and the interminable arguments seem to preclude the audience from ever appreciating the characters as anything but an collection of neuroses and hang-ups.
Meanwhile, as if the verbal sparring and exposition were not sufficiently burdened with clunky symbolism, Bergman decides to give Liv Ullmann's character a sister with (seemingly?) some sort of degenerative muscle disease--whom, of course, the mother despises, as an all too obvious symbol of her maternal failures. (The film goes even further, with Ullmann accusing her mother of precipitating her sister's ailment with, of all things, her poor mothering. The delivery and context do nothing to mitigate the absurdity of this accusation.) The movie-of-the-week melodrama reaches a fever pitch when the sister crawls out of her room, barely able to lift her head off the floor, calling out for her mother. (Get out the hankies, right? Wrong. As previously mentioned, none of these characters rises above the status either of case study or of plot device, so you're more likely to feel manipulated than moved.) Then, in addition to all of this, Bergman also throws in a dead child (of Liv Ullmann's character).
Before you look for the Lifetime Movie Channel logo in the bottom right corner of your set, however, remember that this is a Bergman film, and as such it is not a total loss. The camerawork, as always, is meticulous; a few exchanges between the mother and daughter are effective (such as when they play dueling Chopin and when the mother first arrives); and--I don't know if this makes sense--even though the acting is not successful in rising above the material, it's somehow interesting to watch. Nowhere does the work of acting become more foregrounded than in a film that is underwritten, and Ingrid Bergman and Liv Ullmann are certainly no slouches in that department...
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3.0 out of 5 stars Just take a look!, Aug. 4 2002
By 
This review is from: Autumn Sonata (VHS Tape)
This is the first Ingmar Bergman film I have seen and I did enjoy it, although I know I would enjoy it more the second time through, and very likely raise the rating.
It was amazing to me, the incredible tackiness of the decor in the house. Harvest gold walls, tangerine flowers, avacado green something else. And Ingrid and Liv Ullman's wardrobes left MUCH to be desired. Just look at the red sack Ingrid wears to dinner the first night and you'll know what I mean. The colour scheme in many ways added to the autumnal motif... but that doesn't change the fact that I would HATE to have my house look like that.
I saw many parallels in the story with Ingrid's own life - her career getting in the way of her relationship with her daughter - which was very interesting. I must say I didn't understand the presence of the handicapped daughter in the story. It never explained what her illness was and I just didn't get what point she was to make. Just to call "Mama"? I liked the guy who played Liv's husband. Not a major character but he seemed like a nice person devoted to his wife's happiness.
I was very tired when I started the movie and had to turn it off during the face-off between Liv and Ingrid because I was falling asleep - so the emotional impact didn't hit me as strongly as it could have - but one of these days I'll check it out again and see it over all in one sitting.
And I also discovered that Ingrid has brownish eyes... not blue as I had thought...
...
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Autumn Sonata (The Criterion Collection)
Autumn Sonata (The Criterion Collection) by Ingmar Bergman (DVD - 2000)
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