This is a lovingly crafted film about one of the cinema’s most luminous and enchanting presences, composed from her letters and diaries (extracts of which are read by Alicia Vikander), the memories of her children (Pia Lindström and Isabella, Ingrid, and Roberto Rossellini), and a few close friends.
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A quintessential biographical documentary which shows expertise in research skills and identifying the main arc of her life story amidst the diary entries, the home videos, interviews with friends and families, and of course, the films she starred in (including some telling behind-the-scenes moments). An ode to a memorable actress who was deeply consumed by the medium.
Wonderfully edited documentary using the diaries of Bergman (read by Alicia Vikander), her home movies, interviews with her children and ample film clips to give us a portrait of a woman ruled by her own desires; her needs; and her whims. Bergman to quote herself sees her public life from going from saint to whore and back to saint again...and she's pretty on the money. Not a puff piece by any stretch .....
Pretty wonderful portrait. Somewhat scattershot. Really only justifiable as a means to look at and listen to Ingrid Bergman. Of course, what more do you need? Could have been cut together in an afternoon. May have been better had it been. It is practically smeared w/ soap. I will say: the screen test a silent Ingrid did in a pink dress for Selznick is one of the most incredible things I have ever seen in my life.
[REVIEW] 78/100 - Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words (Stig Björkman, Sweden)
Generating a remarkably intimate portrayal of her life, the use of her own words and her own video is a stunning accomplishment, allowing the documentary to find grounding in a more poetic documentary mode than usually found of biographies.
Really insightful doc about a phenomenal actress. The archival footage and photographic material from Bergman herself adds another layer - a mundane and honest one - to someone we thought we knew so well. A robust contemplation of our collective memory of her, her commitment to memory through the camera, and the function of film to archive its legends.
Bergman is the opposite of all those You Must Remember This episodes about actresses exploited and neglected in Hollywood. She stoically forged a path that sought to put cinema, happiness and truth on equal tier and seems to have been successful. It makes her a mesmerising presence, but not for great material when the hurdles are overcome with relative ease. Its own kind of wonderful, but I struggle with home movies
My thoughts about the film are the same as Isabella's about the correspondance; I thought there would be a story in here about a woman becoming a star in Hollywood, about struggle and cinema, but its just all children.
Which would be fine, if not for Bergman's tendancy to shy away from thinking/writing about the negatives in that relationship, and once even from acting it out. Vague, but hypnotic.
I know Ingrid Bergman in some movies such Spellbound, Notorious, Casablanca, and Murder on the Orient Express. I always think that she is a great and talented actress. And then, I watch this documentary. Well, there's a lot of things that I didn't know about her. Through this documentary now I know about her life, her method of acting, and many more. I feel hypnotised by Alicia Vikander's voice as she played Bergman.