Cries and Whispers - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Cries and Whispers Reviews

Page 1 of 32
½ June 9, 2017
The usual sensitivity and beauty one would expect from a Bergman film. This revolves around sisters who are dealing with the untimely death of their mother (but is she quite as dead as they think?) Liv Ullman has never been more compelling although I loved her in Skammen and Persona.
May 15, 2017
10 10 10 10 9 9 9 9 8 9 = 93
½ March 8, 2017
This is a film that I find difficult to talk about. Bergman is usually a very cerebral filmmaker, and here he really isn't. This film seems to work on an entirely emotional level. It's a beautiful, distressing and downright frightening film. It's not among my favourites of his, partly because it's such a harrowing experience, but it is a brilliant film.
February 28, 2017
Probably Bergman's most haunting work, and that's saying a lot. He almost invents a new language in this film. I've only seen it once and it's too much for me to wrap my head around for one viewing but it's incredibly memorable and daring.
February 4, 2017
The usual sensitivity and beauty one would expect from a Bergman film. This revolves around sisters who are dealing with the untimely death of their mother. Liv Ullman has never been more compelling although I loved her in Skammen and Persona.
December 18, 2016
"Sussurri e grida" è un caldo inno alla pietà ed alla vita cantato dalla stanza più remota di un inespugnabile castello di ghiaccio.
December 16, 2016
O filme é doloroso como eu lembrava. O que eu não lembrava é como o diário de Agnes corroborava a conclusão de Karin. Mas há Anna, indício da existência do amor e, neste universo específico, da possibilidade da graça.
June 19, 2016
Hauntingly profound and painful, Cries and Whispers immerses the viewer into an intense experience involving death and love.
Antonius Block
Super Reviewer
May 20, 2016
I absolutely adore Bergman, but have to be honest. This is the least enjoyable film by him that I've watched, and it's hard to fathom how highly acclaimed it is.

In a nutshell, two sisters (Liv Ullman and Ingrid Thulin) are at the deathbed of a third (Harriet Andersson). Andersson's character is in pain, but the sisters have great difficulty empathizing with her. The three are cold and isolated from one another, and it's only the housemaid (Kari Sylwan) who provides any comfort.

Through flashbacks, the film gives insight into their characters. One of these is highly disturbing (stop reading now and avert your gaze if you're squeamish) - and has Thulin mutilating her genitals and smearing the blood on her face in front of her husband.

Some adjectives to describe the film: cold, bleak, slow, depressing...should I go on? It is emotionally honest, yes, but it doesn't ask the big questions about God, death, life, or love - it just shows us how sad our little existences can be, even when living in luxury as the three sisters do, and how pitiful dying is.

It was great to see Harriett Andersson again, 20 years after her first Bergman film, 'Summer with Monika', and she has the movie's best line in the final memory, a happy (and profound) moment on a swing with her sisters: "I wanted to cling to that moment, and I thought...Come what may, this is happiness. I cannot wish for anything better. Now, for a few minutes, I can experience perfection. And I feel profoundly grateful to my life, which gives me so much..."

If only there were more of those moments, or philosophical questions raised. As it is, it's too painful to watch or recommend. I have a feeling the 5 Oscar nominations were more a reward for Bergman's films in the 50's and 60's, most of which were genius, and would have me thinking about them for hours afterwards. It's hard to imagine anyone giving 'Cries and Whispers' a high rating wanting to see it again.
May 12, 2016
Though my personal favourite of Bergman's films will always be the first I've seen, for sentimental reasons ('Through a Glass Darkly'), this is outstanding. Essential for all cinephiles. A masterclass of acting, directing and cinematography. A dish to be savoured, exquisitely.
May 12, 2016
Though my personal favourite of Bergman's films will always be the first I've seen, for sentimental reasons ('Through a Glass Darkly'), this is outstanding. Essential for all cinephiles. A masterclass of acting, directing and cinematography. A dish to be savoured, exquisitely.
May 2, 2016
Sometimes I get an eager of watching a Bergman flick. Sometimes it's ends up into a good film, but a bad movie choice of the evening, sometimes it hits the jackpot. This film started of a bit on the wrong side for me. It felt boring. After a while I noticed the way it was shot and it's truly good stuff. The slow start starts to grind into something better. It's very real - still surreal and quite dreamy.

As we follow the sick sister and her gruesome cries it turns into something strong and bleak. Even if it's very real it's also dreamy - nightmare'ish. At times it looks like a horror film, the cries are scary! The two sisters seem less touched by the third sister's condition, but the maid, Anna, is heartbroken. The study of the dysfunction and relation issues is strong and powerful. Scenes that are harder to figure appear and it feels a bit crazier and more psycotic. The blood red fade-outs with following whispers makes it a stand-out. Simple but effective.

Liv Ullman is mixturing up Swedish and Norwegian a bit, it's a bit weird that's never discussed as it seem. That part is a bit shaky, still she and the other actors are quite brilliant. A film filled with many emotions. Guilt, pain, lust, hate, grief and love. Death and religion is in the mix. It's a bit of everything sat in a bleak story that it's hard to find much positivity in.

One of the better films from the director I have seen as it stuck with me directly after watching it, while others seem to need quite some time to find it's place in memory.

8.5 out of 10 pieces of glass.
February 4, 2016
A masterpiece film by Bergman that explores human relations, family secrets, and disturbing characters in this story.
January 5, 2016
To say I completely understood this movie would be a lie, but there's enough symbolism and complex themes that it would be impressive to say I did, Cries and Whispers is another Ingmar Bergman masterpiece that ranks among the most emotionally wrought works of cinema, showcasing agony in a shocking but undeniably powerful way.
November 29, 2015
I just didn't connect with this Bergman classic, I found it a difficult and rather tedious watch. It won an Oscar for Best Cinematography for Sven Nykvist and I can see why, but I couldn't get into the story. It's a film filled with pain, and Bergman stated he was in a state of melancholy when he wrote it. This is a film I may appreciate more on a second viewing, but that won't be anytime soon. For serious Bergman fans only.
November 21, 2015
The coolest and weirdest Bergman movie. It's like Stanley Kubrick meets some kind of hellish Alice in Wonderland. Loved it.
October 20, 2015
It's a haunting portrayal of the horrors of death and it's effect on those around it.
August 26, 2015
"Cries and Whispers" is about pain, death, love, lust, hate, and self-loathing. There are more than one scene in the film that I found unbearable, horrifying and depressing. In the same time, it is about beauty and power of life, every minute of it - how little we appreciated it until it is too late. Typical Bergman's subjects, Bergman's actresses giving amazing performances, strikingly beautiful - it even hurts your eyes cinematography by Sven Nykvist - typical Bergman's masterpiece - what less do we expect from him? I admire the brilliance of it: acting, cinematography, Bergman's simple but devastating approach to Death as an inevitable part of life. The ending is heartbreaking - with Harriet's face and her words from beyond the grave about appreciating every minute of life...
August 25, 2015
Cries and Whispers is an unbelievably draining look into the lives of three sisters, one of which is near death with cancer (to the point that she wakes up, realizes she's still alive, and almost breaks down at the thought of suffering through another day of pain). The family as a whole suffers with the sister, although it's mainly through the heightened awareness that her sickness brings them as they realize they know nothing about one another and almost certainly never will given the nature of social niceties.

Bergman's usual focus on the mental processes of his characters is here, but with an added emphasis on the physical nature of intimacy, light touches and unspoken words communicating the desperate longing for emotional availability the sisters feel towards each other. This period of existential openness doesn't last long, however, as they retreat into the cold, safe isolation of their own minds, shrouding their conversations in reactionary social cues after time separates them from their experience with death.

Setting all of this against the constant presence of ticking clocks, Bergman suggests that we ultimately know nothing about anyone around us and never really will as we slowly inch towards the grave; as depressing as this is, there's no denying the intelligence with which it's communicated, the experience primarily dealing with the inevitability of isolation made riveting through the use of color, the deeply layered performances, and the affecting filmmaking that imparts this dour message. It may honestly be impossible to love those around us given the nature of the individual, but complete emotional openness is surely the only way we could ever begin to do so. Cries and Whispers is a desperate plea for this openness, lest we end up like the sisters it documents.
Page 1 of 32