Run Time: 93 Minutes
Actress Ingrid Bergman’s only film for director Ingmar Bergman was this wrenching mother-daughter psychodrama, shot in painterly autumnal colour tones by cinematographer Sven Nykvist. Bergman plays Charlotte, a renowned concert pianist visiting Eva (Liv Ullmann), her adult daughter, for the first time in many years. Eva, dowdy and repressed, is unhappily married to a provincial parson, and now takes cares of her disabled sister Helena (Lena Nyman), whom Charlotte had once locked away in an institution. A lifetime of pent-up rage and resentment is unleashed as daughter and mother go face to face in an exchange of recrimination, self-justification, and confession. The emotional ferocity is magnified by Bergman and Nykvist’s masterful use of close-up. Autumn Sonata earned Oscar nominations for Ingrid’s performance and Ingmar’s original screenplay. It also proved to be Ingrid’s last feature film before her death in 1982.
"An austerely beautiful meditation on death and the not-always-realized possibility of reconciliation across generations." - A.V. Club
"A fascinating sampler of the great Ingmar Bergman's most brilliant and troubled tendencies." - Slant