The performances are perfectly distilled, but the traits I dislike in Bergman are all here -- self-pity, brutality, spiritual constipation, and an unwillingness to try to overcome these difficulties.
| Original Score: 2/4
Bergman hasn't lost his touch. But he has lost his vigor.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
The 85-year-old Bergman has proclaimed this his final film and it has the feel of closure. It also feels like the effort of a tired artist reworking the same themes.
| Original Score: C+
Saraband, flat and static both visually and thematically, doesn't begin to approximate the austere beauty of the director's art-house classics.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Bergman is an acquired taste. For my money, these folks are too self-involved and needy to sustain my interest.
The sight -- and sound -- of Johan with his head between the speakers listening to the brutal Scherzo from Bruckner's Ninth Symphony tells you all you need to know.
It is existential gruel, ten portions of misery handed down from the master. Compelling and intense, it is also pitiless.
Powerfully, painfully honest.
| Original Score: 4/4
The movie's title -- a lovely word that describes a sexy dance for two -- is either mordantly ironic or another instance of Bergman doffing his cap to the eros that courses through the most baleful of human relations.
Bergman is still at the top of his game, every bit as much in control of his faculties for deciphering human misery.
An excoriating and revelatory experience, scrubbing away yet another layer of skin from the image that the director has created for himself.
This is just great filmmaking, great storytelling, and just stays with you for so long afterwards.
Like the Bach piece that gives it its title, Saraband is a stately, mournful movie.
| Original Score: 3/4
Ullmann and Josephson are old Bergman pros and have evidently learned, over the decades, how to act the roles he assigns them naturally and flawlessly.
| Original Score: B
Bergman has a sharp talent for observing human conflicts without claiming to fully understand them.
| Original Score: 4/5
Like watching four people take turns trying to swim with one of the others clinging to an ankle. It's grim and gripping.
Saraband is a great masterpiece, and a true and fitting culmination to a major career.
So many great directors seem to go out with a whimper. Ingmar Bergman has gone out with a bang.
| Original Score: 7/10
In Ingmar Bergman's magisterial last film, we watch family members bare their souls and in their faces we see intimations of the grand emotions which animate us all.
Both a valentine to [Liv] Ullmann and a star-making film debut for [Julia] Dufvenius
| Original Score: '2.75/5'