Saraband (2003)



Critic Consensus: If Saraband appears to be a minor entry in Ingmar Bergman's filmography, it's still an accomplished piece of work from one of cinema's greatest masters.

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Marianne and Johan meet again after 30 years without contact, when Marianne suddenly feels a need to see her ex-husband again. She decides to visit Johan at his old summerhouse 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. Also living at the summerhouse 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.
R (for brief nudity, language and a violent image)
Art House & International , Drama , Television
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Critic Reviews for Saraband

All Critics (83) | Top Critics (31)

With Saraband, the great writer-director has stepped back into the ring for one last epic wrestle with his demons. There is, as always, no easy outcome. But no one ever fought for higher emotional and spiritual stakes.

Full Review… | October 31, 2007
Top Critic

A parlour-room theatre of emotional cruelty, with all exits barred by the past.

Full Review… | June 23, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

While bringing an abundance of inspiration to this world, Bergman unapologetically refused to ignore the pain and darkness that infects mankind. There will never be another filmmaker like him.

December 2, 2005
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic

The performances -- welling, unified and multidimensional -- are beyond praise, as are Bergman's visual images.

Full Review… | September 9, 2005
Washington Post
Top Critic

For those inclined to search for psychological twists, the film offers plenty of Freudian situations capable of provoking lengthy discussions. For the film buff, the discussions will turn to a Bergman still at the peak of his craft.

Full Review… | August 12, 2005
Miami Herald
Top Critic

A stunning and complex final bow from a stunning and complex artist.

August 11, 2005
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Saraband

Saraband is full of unbelievably real dialogue and complex characters, while being yet another Bergman study of humanity through the themes of love, death, and human interaction.

Alex Suszko
Alex Suszko

Late Bergman that wasn't quite as well received as his earlier films. I liked it though. We still have very profound relationships to explore.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

When Marianne and Johan finally reunite after a lifetime apart its Bergman at his best. The pain, memories, hope and the brutal reality, just brilliant. Then the movie shifts and focuses on Johan's son Henrik and his daughter Karin. I was disappointed at first but the dynamic they share with each other as well as with Johan and Marianne is really fascinating. All four actors are brilliant and the way Bergman cares for each character shines through wonderfully. A fitting last film for one of the greatest artists of the 20th century.

Paul Pastoor
Paul Pastoor

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