Saraband Review

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Marianne turns up at her ex-husbands summer home 30 years after having seen him last and walks into more than she bargained for...

★★★★★

Swedish maestro Ingmar Bergman winds down a career of incalculable influence with this revisitation of the couple first played by Liv Ullmann and Erland Josephson in 1973’s Scenes From A Marriage. However, the emphasis is less on their long-dormant feuds than on Josephson’s soured relationship with his sixtysomething son (Börje Ahlstedt) and the son’s equally strained bond with his teenage cellist daughter (Julia Dufvenius). Despite the use of high-def video, this is very much an old man’s film, with zooms and superimpositions flickeringly illuminating an intense, Chekhovian chamber drama shot mostly in actor-friendly static takes.

Yet, Bergman’s insights into humanity’s inability to communicate effectively, its failure to appreciate the beauty around it and its insistence on blaming God for problems of its own making are pertinent and subtly powerful.

Insightful as ever but a little dated in the set-up and treatment of the shooting.