This tale of an icy concert pianist who visits her two neglected, adult daughters over the course of an emotionally tense day marks the only collaboration between cinema’s two great Bergmans: director Ingmar and actress Ingrid.
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emotional claustrophobia: two women are both broken by performance. the mother knows of nothing else which would buoy her identity and her frail ego; the daughter strives for earnestness, for sincere goodwill, which falls away when confronted with the figure who has lined her living with resentment. the perfectly-scripted story of an unstoppable force meeting an immovable object
I loved Bergman when I was young, then I thought I was too sophisticated for Bergman (or something), and finally life brought me back to Bergman on my knees. There is no science of hurt. There is no anatomy of hurt. Hurt is a wild field of flames. Autumn Sonata is devastating on the one hand, elevating on the other. This thing is practically a deliriant.
Top tier Bergman. I was lucky enough to see this on the big screen for the first time last night, and the raw emotional power of the performances and close-ups is truly magnified in that venue. Two absolutely titanic performances make this tale of mother-daughter relationships one of the most consistently engaging films Bergman ever made.
Tight chamber piece but not claustrophobic as it pulls focus through light and shade in a broken mother-daughter relationship. Uniformly splendid in performance and technical craft and perhaps a more benign tearing of the human flesh from this Director.
One of Bergman's strongest films. Continuing a trend of mixing theater and cinema, it does not deal with theater directly, but its staging repeatedly reminds us of it, specially in this chamber drama genre. Ullmann and Bergman are intense and haunting. The story, while mostly bitter, is ultimately satisfying, and the film gives off that magic Nordic feel that defines Bergman, while maintaining a harsh realism.