Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Autumn Sonata (1978)

By Eric Jessen June 23, 2010

One of Ingmar Bergman's last films tells the story of a mother (Ingrid Bergman) and her daughter (Liv Ullmann). When Mom is an intelligent, worldly concert pianist and daughter is a dull housewife and an emotional wreck, of course it's all Mom's fault – “You didn't love me,” “You were never there for me,” “I cried myself to sleep” etc. When mother comes to visit daughter it's all smiles at first, then one night (and for nearly the rest of the film) daughter lets mother have it. It's all sorrow and tears to the end. This is one of those films where the character you're led to hate the most – the mother – is the only one you like because she is the only one not whining about her life – or whines the least. When it's not painfully tiresome in its ideas about parent child relationships it's just boring.

1 comment:

  1. I really liked it. I didn't think Liv Ullmann's character was whiny, I thought she was justified in her complaints - and the way Bergman unravels their relationship throughout the whole film is fascinating. Nobody was necessarily the "bad guy", it seems to be more about dealing with the different pain we cause each other, sometimes when it's completely unintended (as in the mother's case.)