Wild Strawberries Reviews
This is a fantastic film with a lot to say, even if it not all of it comes across as prominently as others. Victor Sj√¬∂str√¬∂m delivers the performance of a lifetime, and Ingmar Bergman directs this film with fine and precise direction. Masterful storytelling from top-to-bottom.
Incredibly thought-provoking and emotional movie. A metaphor for life and what you make of it. As someone who could understand how Isak could get that way, and even endorse how he feels, this was an eye-opening, and potentially life-changing, movie.
While many of Bergman's movies are sombre and depressing, this, having started that way, turns it all around, channeling the negativity to find something positive. A very nostalgic and uplifting movie. Also, not that predictable in its positivity. The upliftment sneaks up on you...
My favorite Bergman film that I have thus far seen.
Saw this on 10/7/16
The most realistic and least pretentious film from Bergam and clearly his best from what I've seen thus far. The film combines nostalgia, dread, emotions, reflections on life, beautiful cinematography with memorable scenes and fine performances, especially from Victor Sjostorm in his last screen appearance.
The film is not heavy or hard to watch and just enjoy Bergman's storytelling, but at the same time it does have a weightiness to it - in recalling the soul-crushing moments of sadness in life, in his sentimental reflections of his childhood, in his weighing in on two younger men's debate about God's existence ("I see His traces wherever flowers bloom"), and as he thinks about his mortality. Some comic relief is provided in his relationship with housekeeper, who brings a smile when she leaves her door ajar as she goes to bed in case he "wants anything", after having bickered with him for the entire movie (and presumably decades of their lives).
I don't see the film as being optimistic or pessimistic, or as much 'warmer' than his other work, though other viewers certainly seem to and there are moments of charm, such as when the young woman of the three he gives a ride to talks to him, asks him for advice, and sweetly says she loves him as they part. Bibi Andersson played both this role and the role of the girl in the strawberry patch that he lost, which has a certain symmetry and renewal to it. However, I think the movie is realistic and balanced, with just as much bittersweetness as sweetness - even the married couple they nearly get into a car accident with make endless snide comments about one another - and its genius is in showing us truths about life that are common to us all.
While the movie doesn't preach or overtly push a message, you realize just how hard it is to lead a virtuous, positive life without regrets - and reflect on your own life, where you place priorities, how you treat people, whether you appreciate the small moments, or recognize the pivotal ones - all the things that you will probably remember at the end. Great art does this, spur reflection, and that's the case with 'Wild Strawberries'. Don't believe all the hype, but at the same time, don't be intimidated either - this would be a good one to see.
This film got a pretty gentle plot. We follow a old man as he takes a ride in a car, driven by his son's girlfriend. He dozes of at times and we takes trip down his memory lane. Dreams, some weirder than others, are mixed with their trip that also seem connectable with the dreams. It's probably the dreams that are the main plot here, but we are served more than one story here. That's a nice touch from an rather old film.
Not my favorite Bergman, but it's poetic imagery and some scenes makes it impossible to forget. Like most Bergman flicks it's definietly a "grower" and I'm glad I saw it.
8.5 out of 10 memories.
His signature themes are at play here (existentialism, an awareness of death, religion), but this specific story allows him to move into territory he had not explored previously. Nightmarish dream sequences inform the life of Isak Borg, warning him of his impending death and forcing him into bouts of nostalgia. His story addresses ideas that deal with how life can turn kind people into cruel cynics, how single events completely change a person's trajectory, the guilt associated with devoting your life to a single path and the fear that you've wasted it all in the process, how life's greater mysteries remain even after a lifetime of living, and how we gloss over bad memories in order to coddle ourselves as we move forward. These themes are heady, but coalesce into a genuinely moving portrait of an old man who's going through what all people must go through eventually, a quietly brilliant piece of heartfelt filmmaking from a director known for dealing more with the cerebral but capable of adeptly addressing all aspects of the human experience.