Two estranged sisters, Ester and Anna, and Anna's 10-year-old son travel to the Central European country on the verge of war. Ester becomes seriously ill and the three of them move into a hotel in a small town called Timoka.
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
Ingmar Bergman's first draft of the script, completed in 1979, consisted of about 1,000 handwritten pages. See more »
In the theatre scene, early in the movie, Georg Årlin, who plays a high ranking military man, is seen whispering with a person sitting next to him. The next shot shows other people talking, and then Årlin is seen behind them at the left corner, in conversation with no one, staring into space in front of him. See more »
Ekdahlska huset - Oscar Ekdahl:
My dear friends, for 22 years, in the capacity of theater manager, I've stood here and made a speech without really having any talent for that sort of thing. Especially if you think of my father who was brilliant at speeches. My only talent, if you can call it that in my case, is that I love this little world inside the thick walls of this playhouse, and I'm fond of the people who work in this little world. Outside is the big world, and sometimes the little world succeeds in reflecting the big ...
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.
45 of 62 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?