A young woman, Karin, has recently returned to the family island after spending some time in a mental hospital. On the island with her is her lonely brother and kind, but increasingly ... See full summary »
Max von Sydow
It's the early twentieth century Sweden. Adolescent siblings Alexander and Fanny Ekdahl lead a relatively joyous and exuberant life with their well-off extended paternal family, led by the family matriarch, their grandmother, Helena Ekdahl. The openness of the family culture is exemplified by Helena's now deceased husband ending up becoming best friends with one of her lovers, a Jewish puppet maker named Isak Jacobi, and their Uncle Gustav Adolf's open liaison with one of the family maids, Maj, who everyone in the family adores, even Gustav Adolf's wife, Alma. Between the siblings, Alexander in particular has inherited the family's love of storytelling, his parents and his grandmother who are actors and who manage their own theater. Things change for Alexander and Fanny when their father, Oscar, dies shortly after Christmas 1907. Although she truly does believe she loves him, the children's mother, Emilie, decides to marry Bishop Edvard Vergérus, who she first met as the officiate at ... Written by
Famous Swedish song-and-dance man Jan Malmsjö, who is playing the evil bishop Vergerus, thought it was strange that director Ingmar Bergman approached him for a role very much different from anything he had done. He asked Bergman about it, who replied: "Well, I sense some hidden dark and evil streaks inside you, Jan. You have it, I have it, all of us have." See more »
In one scene, Gun Wållgren refers to the historically famous Belgian town of Waterloo, and uses an English pronunciation, which is an obvious modern trait - probably as a result of the popularity of the eponymous song from the pop group Abba. See more »
Could well lay claims to being the best European film of all time
I am not one for putting up idols on pedestals; mostly Bergman's films leave me tepid or even cold. But Fanny och Alexander is a splendid production, beautifully made, so superb it even evokes feelings of having come from a novel. Excellent characterization throughout, all the way down the cast, lending that magic touch to the costuming of the early 1900s. Mesmerising throughout, the film is not a single minute too long. The development of the story-line is superbly handled in an absorbing and coherent manner, manifesting the great empathy between director and actors. If the cinematography is visual poetry, the script is philosophical and full of awareness or consciousness of things in life, but not at a pretentious, abstract and theoretical level, but at a real human dimension.
If you only have 10 videos in your collection, Fanny och Alexander should be one of them. My vote is a bit higher than the IMDb average.
These comments refer to the 3-hour version.
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