Scenes from a Marriage

Scenes from a Marriage

Director: Ingmar Bergman, Liv Ullmann, Bibi Andersson, Erland Josephson

Cast: Ingmar Bergman, Liv Ullmann, Bibi Andersson, Erland Josephson

     
 

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Originally created as a six-part series for television, this film -- widely regarded as one of Ingmar Bergman's most powerful later works -- offers a close-up examination of a relationship as it slowly falls apart, and investigates the toll it takes on both parties. Johan and Marianne (Erland Josephson and Liv Ullmann) are a seemingly successful professional couple

Overview

Originally created as a six-part series for television, this film -- widely regarded as one of Ingmar Bergman's most powerful later works -- offers a close-up examination of a relationship as it slowly falls apart, and investigates the toll it takes on both parties. Johan and Marianne (Erland Josephson and Liv Ullmann) are a seemingly successful professional couple who have juggled careers as (respectively) a doctor and an attorney with marriage and children; when we first encounter them, they're being interviewed by a television reporter about what makes their marriage a success, an event contrasted by a later meeting with an openly bitter and combative couple (Bibi Andersson and Jan Malmsjö). But things are not always what they seem on the surface, and Johan announces he has become involved with a younger woman. Johan seems to give little thought to the harm he has done to Marianne, while she is devastated by his abandonment of her. After a stay in Europe, Johan returns to Sweden and visits Marianne; eventually, the divorced couple briefly comes together, but the damage done is too severe to mend. Focusing less on narrative than on a deep-focus portrayal of the thoughts and emotions of two characters, Scenes From a Marriage originally ran nearly 300 minutes in its original television edition; Bergman later edited the film to 168 minutes for theatrical release in Europe and North America.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Lucia Bozzola
Cut by writer/director Ingmar Bergman to feature length from the original six-part TV miniseries, Scenes From a Marriage still spans six defining incidents from a marriage as it unravels and reaches a new plateau. Starring Bergman alter ego Erland Josephson as philandering husband Johan, Bergman muse Liv Ullmann as maddeningly passive wife Marianne, and featuring Bibi Andersson in a blistering appearance as a friend with her own marital woes, Scenes From a Marriage is an acting tour de force for Bergman's stock company. Bergman offers no easy answers for Marianne's on-going attachment to chronic jerk Johan, illuminating the complex and contradictory nature of connubial bonds (not to mention his own conflicted feelings about women). Shot on 16 mm in a stripped-down style featuring copious close-ups, few exteriors, no music, and no flights of fantasy or memory, the austere visuals perfectly match the story's intimacy and raw emotions. Hailed as another masterpiece from the auteur, Scenes From a Marriage won several prizes from the National Society of Film Critics, including Best Film, as well as Best Actress and Screenplay from the New York Film Critics' Circle. Though some objected to Johan's comfortable fate, the Bergman-scripted and Ullmann-directed film Faithless (2001) serves as a de facto painful epilogue.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/16/2004
UPC:
0715515081115
Original Release:
1974
Rating:
PG
Source:
Criterion
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
2:49:00
Sales rank:
11,314

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