Fanny and Alexander Screen 4 articles

Fanny and Alexander

1982

Fanny and Alexander Poster
  • It has the most lavish and enviable Christmas party in cinema, and even though the film takes a grim turn, it is not above having a Christmas miracle serve as a course correction. No film captures the holiday’s glory—and the sadness of its ephemerality—or the spirit of true family so completely.

  • An expansive, haunting period piece-cum-fairy tale even in its shorter theatrical version. . . . To those with equally dogmatic parents: be prepared to discuss it later with your therapist.

  • Ingmar Bergman's formal swan song recapitulates many of his traditional themes of fear and love from childhood through old age. The period-family adventure is not dominated by the usual strong performers, but by a mellow ensemble which reflect the director's dreams and fantasies of the '80s.

  • The film doesn't so much surmount Bergman's usual shortcomings—the crude contrasts, heavy symbolism, and preachy philosophizing—as find an effective context for them. Tied to a child's mind, the oversimplifications become the stuff of myth and legend. As in The Night of the Hunter, a realistic psychological drama is allowed to expand into fantasy; the result is one of Bergman's most haunting and suggestive films.

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