The Best Intentions (1992)




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Movie Info

Scripted (but not directed) by Ingmar Bergman, Best Intentions is a multilayered backwards glance at the courtship of Bergman's own parents. Henrik Bergman (Samuel Froler) is a struggling theology student in the year 1909. His intended, Anna Aakerbloom (Pernilla August, who married director Bille August while the film was in progress) is from a well-to-do family. Despite the expected class differences and personality clashes, love-or at least mutual understanding-prevails. But after a harsh, spare few years as the wife of a clergyman, Anna yearns for the more bountiful pleasures of her family home. Bergman writes himself into the proceedings as a mewling infant. The current three-hour theatrical version of Best Intentions (original title: Den Goda Viljan) was simultaneously prepared as a six-hour TV miniseries, which ran in Europe, Scandanavia, and Japan.
Art House & International , Drama
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Samuel Fröler
as Henrik Bergman
Pernilla August
as Anna Bergman
Max von Sydow
as Johan Akerblom
Ghita Nørby
as Karin Akerblom
Mona Malm
as Alma Bergman
Lena Endre
as Frida Strandberg, Henrik's First Fiancee
Keve Hjelm
as Fredrik Bergman, Henrik's Paternal Grandfather
Björn Kjellman
as Ernst Akerblom, Anna's Brother
Börje Ahlstedt
as Carl Akerblom, Anna's Half-Brother
Björn Granath
as Oscar Akerblom, Anna's Half-Brother
Gunilla Nyroos
as Svea Akerblom, Oscar's Wife
Inga Ålenius
as Alva Nykvist
Eva Grondahl
as Martha Akerblom, Gustav's Wife
Margaretha Krook
as Blenda Bergman, Henrik's Aunt
Irma Christensson
as Ebba Bergman, Henrik's Aunt
Sif Ruud
as Beda Bergman, Henrik's Aunt
Lena Brogren
as Miss Lisen
Dan Johansson
as Justus Bark, Henrik's Fellow Student
Niklas Hald
as Baltzar Kugelman, Henrik's Fellow Student
Ernst-Hugo Järegård
as Professor Sundelius
Hans Alfredson
as Reverend Gransjo
Lena T. Hansson
as Magda Sall
Marie Goranzon
as Elin Nordenson
Björn Gustafson
as Jesper Jakobsson
Roland Hedlund
as Herman Nagel, Works Manager
Margareta Krook
as Blenda Bergman--Henrik's Aunt
Elias Ringkvist
as Petrus Farg
Leif Forstenberg
as Mr. Johansson
Sara Arnia
as Mrs. Johansson
Gun Jonsson
as Marta Lagerstam
Gosta Prnzelius
as County Sheriff
Ernst Gunther
as Uncle Freddy
Marie Rickardson
as Marta Werkelin
Mikael Segerström
as Gustov Akerblom--Anna's Half-Brother
Emy Storm
as Tekla Kronstrom
Barbro Kollberg
as Gertrud Tallroth
Inga Landgre
as Magna Flink
Inga Alenius
as Alva Nykvist
Tomas Bolme
as Jansson
Mikael Bengtsson
as Arvid Fredin
Pia Bergendahl
as Mrs. Fredin
Kare Santesson
as Mans Lagergren
Max Winderal
as Count Robert
Jan Blomberg
as Count Svante
Anita Björk
as Queen Viktoria
Ake Lagergren
as Chamberlain Segersward
Gaby Stenberg
as Matron Fanny
Gösta Prüzelius
as County Sheriff
Puck Ahlsell
as Clergyman Levander
Nils Eklund
as Churchwarden
Tord Peterson
as Coachman
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News & Interviews for The Best Intentions

Critic Reviews for The Best Intentions

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (2)

Though Bergman only wrote (but didn't direct), the film is permeated with his unique angst and thematic concerns, and casting Pernilla August in a major role establishes strong link to Fanny and Alexander, in which she played the servant.

Full Review… | December 21, 2005

Makes the point that marriage always brings spirituality down to earth with its focus on the all the effort that goes into making an intimate relationship work.

Full Review… | August 20, 2002
Spirituality and Practice

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Full Review… | September 7, 2011
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

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Full Review… | October 9, 2010
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

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Full Review… | July 30, 2003
TV Guide

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Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Austin Chronicle

Audience Reviews for The Best Intentions


The script is wonderful, Bergman understands people and their relationships like no one else. It makes characters in other movies seem embarassingly incomplete. Bergman's characters change their minds, have violent outbursts followed by tender moments, feel guilt and doubt and pride and shame, and the words they speak are so right. August's direction is more distant than Bergman's, but he does a fine job, getting great performances from the leads.

Martin Teller
Martin Teller

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