Sunday, May 30, 2010

#155 Fanny Och Alexander (1982)


Director: Ingmar Bergman

Cast: Pernilla Allwin, Bertil Guve, Allan Edwall, Ewa Froling, Jan Malmsjo, Gunn Wallgreen, Borje Ahlstedt

Fanny and Alexander is the story of the Ekdahl family- owners of a small theatre company in early 20th century Sweden. The family is struck by tragedy when the owner of the theatre company, wife to Emilie, and father to Fanny and Alexander dies in his bed. His wife remarries the Bishop, and the family moves into a home of the clergy, undergoing emotional torture by the Bishop and his way of life. The family struggles to free themselves from the cruel captivity.

This film is full of characters-- a loving, nurturing grandmother, a floozy of an uncle who knocks up a maid, servants.. but it still did not ring a positive note with me. The film is slow, and is over three hours in length. It is full of flowery dialogue and mystical appearances of ghosts, talking statues, and mummies. I wanted to like this film, but I found myself irritated by the language/subtitles, and the plot-line was buried in subplots that were far less captivating. Lots of wandering children in dark hallways. Lots of crying and shouting in Swedish and German...Blagh.

I can see how this film may hold an emotional strength for some, but I was bored. I was bored and unsurprised by each turn. Even the uncle's mistresses' baby didn't bring an up-turn in the plot's action. I even had to shut off the sound and read the subtitles for the last 30 minutes because I was tired of listening to the rambling of the stoggy characters.

Definitely won't be seeing this again.

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