Marianne, some thirty years after divorcing Johan, decides to visit her ex-husband at his summer home. She arrives in the middle of a family drama between Johan's son from another marriage and his granddaughter.
Marianne and Johan meet again after thirty years without contact, when Marianne suddenly feels a need to see her ex-husband again. She decides to visit Johan at his old summer house in the western province of Dalarna. And so, one beautiful autumn day, there she is, beside his reclining chair, waking him with a light kiss. Staying at a cottage on the property are Johan's son Henrik and Henrik's daughter Karin. Henrik is giving his daughter cello lessons and already sees her future as staked out. Relations between father and son are very strained, but both are protective of Karin. They are all still mourning Anna, Henrik's much-loved wife, who died two years ago, yet who, in many ways, remains present among them. Marianne soon realizes that things are not all as they should be, and she finds herself unwillingly drawn into a complicated and upsetting power struggle.Written by
Sujit R. Varma
Invited to participate in competition at the film festivals in Cannes and Venice 2003. Ingmar Bergman snubbed both festivals as he was not able to finish editing the theatrical release of the film in time for either of the festivals. See more »
There are some interesting discrepancies in relation to the time line of the characters. The ages given for the characters are 63 (Marianne), 86 (Johan) and 61 (Henrik). Marianne says that she has not seen Johan for 32 years and that they had been married for 16 years. This means that she married Johan when she was 15 and he was 38. Johan had a falling out with his son when Henrik was 18/19, which must have been after Johan's marriage to Marianne. See more »
When I was a teenager, I watched "Scenes from a Marriage" which was shown on British Television during the early seventies. I became engrossed, as the unrelenting camera stared and recorded the break-up of a doomed relationship. The characters seemed hell-bent on this destruction despite themselves. It was a fascinating, harrowing series and I enjoyed it. I must have done, because I never forgot the impression it gave me. Luckily the BBC kept the original soundtrack, and the show was sent using subtitles. The drama offered in those foreign tongued, angry, desperate conversations was of the highest quality.
Now, over 30 years later, I am in my living room once more watching Johan and Marianne. Only this time I don't need subtitles, as I have since learnt Swedish. :-)
Bergman weaves a tale of vindictive dependence and of a young girl's decision to finally make her own way in life - despite some very powerful forces preventing such a move.
Marianne decides to seek out Johan, meets him and becomes involved in the tug of war over his grand-daughter's future with the girl's father, Johan's depressed son Henrik (wonderfully played by Börje Ahlstedt).
A quiet, intensive film. With an important, pivotal roll for the grand-daughter Karin played by Julia Dufvenius.
Bergman should be proud of this. It's a fine epilogue to a marvelous career in cinema and story-telling.
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