26 May 2004 | keith_williamson
A tremendous film but it left me feeling wrung-out.
The acting of Ingrid Bergman and Liv Ulmann is absolutely spell binding and while Katherine Hepburn may have been accused of portraying the emotions for A to B there is no doubt that these two actors can portray the emotions from A to Z and beyond. When I watch a film in a foreign language I find myself studying facial expressions and body language very closely, not surprisingly as, with the lack of understanding I am more dependant of visual cues. However such scrutiny often uncovers failings and weaknesses not here.
The cinematography id also first class, the colours, tones and lighting are all superb and enhance, never detract.
This is only the second of Bergman's films I have seen (the first being Fanny and Alexander) and what I have noticed is that while many films give to the viewer and I feel as if the emotions are a natural response, I felt with the Bergman films, particularly this one, as if the films have taken something out of me, as if the emotions have been extracted against my will. This may sound over the top and rather florid but is a genuine statement. I also have to say that what the two films have in common is that they were both spellbinding and like a good book that just can't be put down, the films gripped me and wouldn't let go even for a minute.