Höstsonaten (Autumn Sonata)


Höstsonaten (Autumn Sonata)

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.



Total Count: 24


Audience Score

User Ratings: 7,214
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Höstsonaten (Autumn Sonata) Photos

Movie Info

Directed by Ingmar Bergman, this intense domestic drama offers insight into the troubled relationships between a mother and her two daughters, one of whom is dying of a terrible disease that has left her paralyzed and only able to communicate via grunts, and the other who has been estranged from her mother for seven years. It is the sudden arrival of the estranged daughter (Liv Ullmann) that gets the story started. She originally left because she felt that her mother, a famous concert pianist (Ingrid Bergman) ignored her while growing up. Now she brings with her the paralyzed sister who has spent the last few years in an institution. As the story progresses, the threesome try to make peace with each other and in their lives.

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Ingrid Bergman
as Charlotte Andergast
Lena Nyman
as Helena
Knut Wigert
as Professor
Arne Bang-Hansen
as Uncle Otto
Linn Ullmann
as Eva as a child
Ame Bang-Hansen
as Uncle Otto
Marianne Aminoff
as Charlotte's private secretary
Mimi Pollak
as Piano instructor
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Critic Reviews for Höstsonaten (Autumn Sonata)

All Critics (24) | Top Critics (4)

  • Bergman's casting coup lives up to expectations. Ingrid Bergman and Liv Ullmann invest their roles with undeniable emotional conviction and impact.

    Aug 4, 2015 | Full Review…
  • The movie makes good chamber music: it's a crafted miniature with Bergman's usual bombast built, for once, into the plot requirements.

    Aug 1, 2007 | Full Review…
  • Of course Bergman's actresses suffer superbly in microscopic close-up, but the nagging doubt persists as to whether this is incisive psychodrama or just those old nordic blues again.

    Feb 9, 2006 | Full Review…

    Paul Taylor

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Autumn Sonata can finally be seen as an austerely beautiful meditation on death and the not-always-realized possibility of reconciliation across generations.

    Jun 5, 2001

    Keith Phipps

    AV Club
    Top Critic
  • Bergman lets the beauty and the pain in his subject's faces tell an unspoken story all their own.

    Aug 6, 2019 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • The story that Ingmar Bergman tells us this time does not transcend the purely conventional limits. [Full Review in Spanish]

    Aug 2, 2019 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Höstsonaten (Autumn Sonata)

  • May 08, 2011
    Its a devastatingly sad film, and while I wouldn't count it among Ingmar Bergman's absolute best (mostly because the first half of the film dives into the conflict too quickly and easily) but once the mother/daughter confrontation occurs its pretty powerful. It demonstrates some of the best writing Bergman has ever done.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Dec 14, 2009
    This is one of the very best Ingmar Bergman films I have seen, and therefore one of the very best films. Ingrid Bergman and Liv Ullman are simply amazing together as a mother and daughter combination from hell. Ingrid Bergman is terrific, despite a deliberately naff hairdo which makes her look like Queen Elizabeth II of the UK rather than the faded beauty she is. Liv Ullman also has visual nuances to enhance her character - the glasses, platted hair and jumpers enabling this beautiful woman to look frumpy. The acting is simply amazing, even through the subtitles you can tell. Fortunately Scandinavian vocal nuance is similar enough to English to enable us non-Swedish speakers to appreciate the acting. Of course, it has the Ingmar Bergman darkness to it. The sister with the horrible degenerative disease, the drowned toddler, the selfishness of the Ingrid Bergman character. If you get depressed along with the characters in films like this, you might be better off giving this one a miss. But for those with a taste for this type of claustrophobic drama, this is one of the most powerful films you will ever see.
    Cassandra M Super Reviewer
  • Nov 05, 2009
    Affecting less due to the story, and more due to observing still-radiant Ingrid Bergman in the twilight of her life. Otherwise, there's not much happening in the filmmaking beyond "warm lighting," and the script seems like just a case of Ingmar struggling to find new ways to make characters intensely miserable.
    Eric B Super Reviewer
  • Jun 04, 2009
    Amazing how Ingmar Bergman manages to depict the tormented inner soul of characters in such a believable way. Emotions are captured remarkably well here. This movie (although it feels more like you're watching a theatre play at times) that features beautiful music of Chopin, is about the troubled relationship between a mother (Ingrid Bergman) and daughter (Liv Ullman). Things run out of hand during the night when the mother visits the daughter. Ullmann's long, emotional monologue is chilling to watch. Both lead actors deliver the performance of their career. It's a film that gets better after repeated views, it starts softly, builds up to a climax like a sonata and then calms down again as the characters find piece with themselves.
    William H Super Reviewer

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