Saraband - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Saraband Reviews

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½ April 23, 2011
Comment ne pas aimer ce film? Impossible, Bergman a toujours eu un immense talent pour créer des climats de grandes tensions émotionnelles à l'aide seulement de 2 personnes qui se parle.

Je t'aime.
January 1, 2011
Pai (Josephson) e filho (Börje Ahlstedt) - ambos homens velhos, cuja existência se resume a um coquetel infeliz de amargura, ressentimento, solidão e egoísmo - se odeiam, um à espera da queda do outro, como se competissem numa espécie de cadeia alimentar psicológica. O elo forte nessa autofagia familiar, a esperança de quebra dessa tradição de choque entre gerações, é a neta (Julia Dufvenius, uma revelação), música promissora acossada pelo seu genitor (incestuosamente?) obcecado.

Impiedoso "drama de câmara", canto de cisne do mestre sueco, onde a indiferença afetiva e emocional do ex-marido de Marianne (Liv Ullmann) é filtrada por seu olhar feminino, vivido, fazendo com que passe a se conhecer melhor, como mãe inclusive.
November 5, 2010
Bergman is consistent with his ability to create rich characters and Saraband is no exception, but the tame cinematography, and awkward experimentation with the fourth wall make this film a better example of what great acting can do for a mediocre movie.
September 22, 2010
Bergman's Last Film and what an experience it is! As a Master of a Filmmaker, his technique, his artistry and above all, his innate wisdom - sharply heightened by decades of experience- are all there. At the age of 85, he comes to understand what was lacking in his life and the reasons behind his sufferings. He puts it all out here, saying the unsaid, with plain terms and it's up to you to see it either as straightforward or insightful. Either way, I thought it was a very appropriate end to this Brilliant Man's Career! I don't think I can say much to give Liv Ullman the praise she deserves but the best thing I can say is that there is a light in that woman's eyes that never seems to fade through time.
September 18, 2010
A well crafted film about how complicated relationships can get over the time...
August 12, 2010
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.
June 21, 2010
Ingmar Bergman was never one to shy away from the brutal honesties of life, and with "Saraband" (his last feature), all of that pain is projected onto 4 characters who so desperately need fulfillment from each other and themselves. What he leaves us with is this - the longer you wait for resolution in your life, the harder it is to get it.
June 3, 2010
The 32 years later sequel for "Scenes From a Marriage" is a pretty good swansong for Ingmar, now I just need to find the full TV version which is twice as long as the theatrical release.
May 22, 2010
This last directorial film from Ingmar Bergman, although just an indoor drama, it's pretty much a tedious and unconvincing work. With clinical scenes, soulless-type introverted characters, the film creates a dry atmosphere keeping the viewer from caring at all for any of the characters. But then ... it's Bergman...
Super Reviewer
May 19, 2010
(2003 Director: Ingmar Bergman) Oohhh the great Director made a movie I have NOT yet seen!!
½ May 9, 2010
What really can be said against this film? I don't know.
½ March 11, 2010
Cinema lost one of its greatest masters this past decade, but not before he provided us another glimpse into his genius. The film takes place 30 years after Scenes From a Marriage (another Bergman great) at a time when Marianne goes to visit her ex-husband Johan. Top notch performances in this terrific final film from Bergman.
December 6, 2009
Beautiful while increasingly dark and twisted. The ability to present such emotion is inspiring.
December 6, 2009
Bergman's final film is outstanding with top performances especially by the great Liv Ullmann!
November 21, 2009
Sooooooooo Bergman. The movie is very intellectual and philosophical. Not his best piece of art but still worth watching.
½ October 8, 2009
Saraband is, yes, a sequel to a 5-hour Swedish chamber drama made exactly 30 years earlier. That 5-hour Swedish chamber drama was and still is probably the best love story ever committed to film, essentially because it was the most basic, down-to-earth, everyday story; it took place in a particular culture, modern Sweden, but even if you live in South Africa or Cleveland or Tanzania one can clearly see oneself in spite of any cultural anachronisms. Saraband is a strange continuation of that story, in which the two initial characters, Johan and Marianne, played by Erland Josephson and Liv Ullmann, are not so much the focus but the eyes and ears reacting in their own ways to the disintegration of Johan's family, none of whom Marianne has met since she and he separated so many years ago.

The narrative follows a similar structure, much more condensed to be sure, and each scene is its own little vignette with its own little chapter heading. They are showcases of powerhouse acting, on account of not only Ullmann and Josephson, who in their 80s have yet to give a poor performance that I've ever seen, but also Borje Ahlstedt as Johan's broke and run-down widowed son Henrik, and the beautiful Julia Dufvenius as his trapped and defiant daughter Karin. In one scene between Henrik and his father, who shows us a side of him never before seen in such bare frankness, even in the triply long preceding film, Ahlstedt barely speaks, and yet he does so much more than Josephson with the silence he must use. Indeed, the modus operandi of each scene at large is soliloquy in the guise of two characters, one speaking while looking on and another listening deeply. Such stagy exposition is not at all characteristic of writer-director Ingmar Bergman, the very antithesis of this overtly theatrical form being the then 84-year-old master's original epic Scenes From a Marriage, which unfolded in the most natural possible way it had to, in the dialogue, in the settings, et. al.

But regardless of their contrivance, each scene is a self-contained achievement of various degrees of talent from the cast of no more than five actors in all. Bergman's swan song opens with his inimitable camera on Ullmann, his most consistent collaborator, standing by a table covered with photographs. It is a well-lit room, and she addresses us through the fourth wall. She picks up on picture after another, in no real order, just scattered all over the table. Some make her smile, or elicit a comment or a sigh. But then she picks up a photograph of Josephson. Seemingly, because she is the maternal ear and shoulder for each character who soon appears, she must have her own counsel, us if no one else.

There is a strange perspective to this film. It appears in general to imprint off of the original film, but it is instead an entirely separate one in spite of its dependence on the original. Ullmann will periodically turn to us for an aside, but we soon forget for many long stretches that it is, or could be, her story, as the camera shares secret moments with every character. The film hardly depicts, or believes in, any kind of actual resolution. Saraband begins by permanently changing our view of the original film's story as it was left three decades before, and ends with just as much certainty as the original did three decades before. Perhaps it is a reflection of old age; that seems to be the significance of the deliberate and extensive soliloquys.
½ September 29, 2009
This being Bergman's final directorial effort, you can definitely feel the wearing of the years take its toll, but familiar endearment and his usual quips still bare a sting. Not nearly as much of a roller coaster as the prequel "Scenes From a Marriage" (and definitely not to be placed among the best in his filmography) this 30-year-later treatment feels necessary to close the canon on two characters that have haunted audiences for so long. Farewell Mr. Bergman...cinema misses you.
August 30, 2009
Saraband (2003). Bergman's Last film. Not introduced into USA until 2005. A reflection on life and marriage. A powerful somewhat severe film it is not to be dismissed. It was nominated for academy awards but did not win. I some how ended up watching Saraband before Scenes from a Marriage. I have queued the 5 hour version. I think I would have preferred seeing Scenes first but oh well Saraband is quite complete in it's own right. The film is present in acts. The plot and story concerning an aging (83) widower -retired with house keeper in the hills of Sweden. He is visited by his ex wife. His sons wife has died and he quit the University and the son and grand daughter are living in the small lake house cabin not far from the main house. The older guy (Johan) played by Erland Josephenson is a professor and his son and daughter are both Educated Intellects and Musicians (cellists) . Each of Bach's cello suites contains a sarabande, and this film uses the sarabande from Bach's fifth suite, which Bergman also used in Cries and Whispers (1971). Typical of Bergman films this films is a detailed intimate portrait and character study of the 3 individuals in the family and the newly arrival the ex wife. Families in turmoil (with an aging father and possible insane son who has very bad finances (insolvency) ) dont make for the most entertaining movies for the general moving going public. However in this film Bergman continues (as his past films indicate ) his passion for drama and presenting (his) truths regarding the human psyche and human conversations and incidents ( families not necessarily in turmoil but interacting deeply) . His films for me go straight to the heart in presenting truths hidden desires motivations angers. that we human beings generally do not discuss. All his films are canvas painted frame by frame with the classic symbols words and interactions of existentialism. Some of my "Joe Blow" friends have watched these films and they just get nothing out of them or are just bored. I am just not sure of what "type" of person "gets it " or understands enough to get enjoyment and fulfillment out of watching his films. Sometimes his films can be painful to watch (not this one) I wish Bergman had included more musical interludes with the two cellists actually playing or practicing. The sound and vision of the son in the church playing the organ was really impressive on my audio visual system. This film is really the end chapter (in a way) for Scenes from a Marriage. I will watch that 5 hour movie tomorrow or over the next 2 nights. I will then read all the critic reviews of both movies and might revise this short review. 5 stars highest recommendation for Saraband.
½ August 4, 2009
Pained character study on the legacy of pain and hurt when one's ego is served before one's happiness. Brittle postscript to "Scenes From Marriage".
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