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Autumn Sonata (The Criterion Collection)
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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.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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'.
1. Life is a steaming pile of excrement.
2.Relationships are tenuous and scarring,
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).
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.
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.
Most recent customer reviews
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. Read morePublished on May 28 2004
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. Read more
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... Read morePublished on May 8 2004
I remember watching this wrenching drama in a movie theater so quiet one could literally hear a pin drop. Read morePublished on Oct. 28 2003 by Avid Reader
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. Read morePublished on July 16 2003
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. Read morePublished on Aug. 4 2002 by J B
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