The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part
The Walking Dead
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All Critics (6)
| Top Critics (2)
| Fresh (6)
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A minor but mostly agreeable picture, which finds Bergman gearing up for his altogether more resonant exercise in wise comedy, Smiles of a Summer Night.
Even though it came early in the snowballing Bergman career, it reveals certain sparkling characteristics that have been striking in Mr. Bergman's themes and style.
It fits in well with Bergman's battle of the sexes opus, though a minor work.
[Bergman's] first comedy... follows a long-married couple's rocky affairs and recalls the better-known Smiles Of A Summer Night.
Made with Bergman's usual flair for striking visuals and intelligent characterisation, this is rewarding dissection of middle-aged love that manages to be incisive, compassionate and hopeful.
Ingmar Bergman, of course, is best known for his dark, moody dramas, but this early comedy shows the director's seldom-seen playful side.
I suppose the right category for this movie would be romantic-comedy, but it's done so well by Ingmar Bergman and has so many nice touches, that it seems to be more than that. The premise is that after a gynecologist strays and has an affair with a young patient, his wife to go back to her old lover, and he wants her back.
Eva Dahlbeck is great as the wife, and delivers empowering lines like "A woman wants to feel she's a woman - not a wife", and "A man can be immoral and he's only a 'he-man', but a woman who satisfies her instincts is a strumpet." Yvonne Lombard is very sexy as his mistress, and Andersson, who starred the previous year in the title role of 'Summer with Monika' as well as a bombshell in 'Sawdust and Tinsel', displays great range in playing his tomboy daughter who wants an operation to become a man so that she's not "dependent on a man". Gunnar Björnstrand is the gynecologist, and reminded me of Edward Norton, while Åke Grönberg plays their boisterous old friend who she goes back to.
The story is cleverly told out of sequence in flashbacks, including Bergman taking his time in the middle of the movie to reveal to us that the woman he's met in a train car is actually his wife. The movie is light and has great dialogue, but at the same time has the touches characteristic of Bergman, and asks some deeper questions. Is 'the marital bed is the death of love', as the man says? Is to 'wallow in physical love to be like baboons', and do affairs burn out, eventually, into boredom? And lastly, as the teenage daughter talks to her grandfather in a nice scene, does God exist, and what does it mean to die?
This movie has it all - a beautiful and talented cast, effortless direction, and a great script. Definitely recommended.
Bergman and comedy don't quite go together. Some of his comedies are so naff you almost wince. This film has the odd naff moment - the last 30 seconds being the nadir, but on the whole this is a charming (rather than funny) piece, enjoyable throughout. Bergman casts several of his usual suspects who perform well. There is a great scene on the train between David, Marianne and an uncouth salesman which will stick in the memory. Some of the marriage material is typical, cynical Bergman, but this is Bergman in a light rather than dark mood.
This film has its moments and is worth the 90-odd minutes. Not one of his classics and not the place to start if you want to fall for Bergman
Considering it's Bergman, it's a touch disappointing. Sometimes when Bergman tacks a lighter tone the films shine, an example being 'Smiles of a Summer Night'. 'A Lesson In Love' doesn't, though it's charming enough, with the usual great Bergman performances from the likes of Gunnar Bjornstrand, Eva Dahlbeck and Harriet Andersson. An above average film, but a below great Bergman.
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