Ingmar Bergman’s Autumn Sonata (1978): Drama at its Absolute Peak

Autumn Sonata is an infinitely relatable mold of art, bearing in mind the piece can be applicable to a lot of variegated common human cases—the deprivation of communication and the turmoil it can spring, what a shortage of love can do to an individual, the existential burden of guilt. There are just so many trunks that lead off into disparate thrusts and concepts. This is truly the right kind of film to pick apart and analyze during your spare time. Furthermore, the amount of savagery that occurs in this masterpiece’s narrative is utterly daring and heart-wrenching. I’ve never seen drama taken to such heated heights before like in Ingmar Bergman’s wistful 1978 story of a dreadfully dysfunctional family.

As always, Bergman’s writing ceases to unambiguously not be the ***best***. And golly, I would kill to have all of Bergman’s films magically converted to color because the shades and tinctures in this film are addictively utilized. However, what really drew me intimate to Autumn Sonata was, in fact, the performances—especially from Liv Ullmann who races victoriously to the maximum of her divine abilities in this.

Every subtle facial articulation conveys so much emotion and each one is delicately carved out to precision thanks to not only a tremendously fine cast but an—especially at this point—abundantly experienced director. This whole movie takes place in one flippin’ house, one flippin’ location—like a lot of Bergman’s other films—and not once did I feel fatigued of the atmosphere because of how pristinely it plays with the riveting narrative. The shots are all framed, a specific way for crucial motives, whether the camera reveals the side or front of a face, or if it also accompanies a particular angle with the shot, or how the camera moves while the scene is occurring (those zooms were mouthwatering!). It’s just f%#$@n> FAULTLESS.

This is how dramas should be made, especially today where many appear like repeats or duplicates of productions that have already been danced about before. I think people sometimes forget that the written story itself isn’t all that matters and that it’s the visual execution of the story itself that should be miraculously drafted to the brim as well. Directing, storyboarding, acting is key, key, key.

Bergman, you better stop having so many of these wonderful treasures or you might just break my Top 3.

Verdict: A+

This Movie is a Part of My List: Ingmar Bergman Ranked

On a sidenote, I personally am shaming myself to the grave because I didn’t recognize that Charlotte was played by Ingrid Bergman. Ingrid F***ing Bergman. How did I miss that? Casablanca!

And, Yo! Lena Nyman looks exactly like Angourie Rice. What the what???

“Autumn Sonata” is now available to rent and buy on YouTube, Google Play, Vudu, and The Criterion Channel.

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