A sensitive exploration of the tragic irony of the psychiatrist suffering with mental illness. Dr. Jenny Isaksson is a psychiatrist married to another psychiatrist; both are successful in ... See full summary »
Strange events happen in a small village in the north of Germany during the years just before World War I, which seem to be ritual punishment. The abused and suppressed children of the villagers seem to be at the heart of this mystery.
The title characters are children in the exuberant and colorful Ekdahl household in a Swedish town early in the twentieth century. Their parents, Oscar and Emilie, are the director and the leading lady of the local theatre company. Oscar's mother and brother are its chief patrons. After Oscar's early death, his widow marries the bishop and moves with her children to his austere and forbidding chancery. The children are immediately miserable. The film dramatizes and resolves those conflicts. A sub-plot features Isak, a local Jewish merchant who is the grandmother's lover and whose odd household becomes the children's refuge. Written by
At the end of the film when Emily introduces the idea to Helena that she wants to stage August Strindberg's brand new play "A Dream Play" and that she wishes for Helena to act with her in it, Helena is pretty pessimistic and reluctant about the whole idea and on the mention of Strindberg exclaims: "Oh no... that dreadful woman-hater!". This is somewhat of an in-joke from Bergman towards actress Gunn Wållgren (who portrays grandmother Helena): Gunn Wållgren is first of all well-known as one of Sweden's foremost Strindberg-interpretors ever and secondly; her most successful and praised part on stage was actually the part of Indra's Daughter in "A Dream Play" (a play and a part the actress also loved very much). Gunn Wållgren later in the final scene also recites the first lines of the play's prologue to Alexander. See more »
Among the Christmas decorations in the Ekdahl house, there is a garland of miniature flags of Scandinavian countries, including the Finnish flag. The Finnish flag was in fact only designed and adopted after Finnish independence in 1917, a decade after the events of the film. 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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