Tensions rise when a bitter man (Erland Josephson) receives an unwelcome visit from his former wife (Liv Ullmann).
" With Saraband, the great writer-director has stepped back into the ring for one last epic wrestle with his demons. There is, as always, no easy outcome. But no one ever fought for higher emotional and spiritual stakes. "
" Ullmann, in her mid-60s, and Josephson, in his early 80s, still know how to build fascinating characters. "
" An emotionally searing look at the ways we hurt the ones we love and the ones we have come to hate. "
" Saraband shows absolutely no sign that Bergman has run out of things to say or ways to say them -- it is as fresh and direct as any he's made. "
" If Saraband is not one of the best Bergman films, it's a very good one and a valuable statement from a great artist in old age. "
" Performed in a series of devastating duets, it's so mature and authentic that it feels like an alien presence in the current (i.e. shallow) movie landscape. "
" Saraband, flat and static both visually and thematically, doesn't begin to approximate the austere beauty of the director's art-house classics. "
" Reminds us again that Bergman, in his camera choices and blocking of characters, remains unrivalled in revealing the sea of emotions between two people face-to-face. "
" The performances -- welling, unified and multidimensional -- are beyond praise, as are Bergman's visual images. "
" A stunning and complex final bow from a stunning and complex artist. "
" Powerfully, painfully honest. "
" What remain intact are the filmmaker's unbreakable heart, lyrical soul and sublime art. So why should we say goodbye? Instead: Bravo. Encore. "
" The compositions are stark, the tone wintry and the conversations bleak. Yet there's a flicker of something affirmative in this darkness. "
" While bringing an abundance of inspiration to this world, Bergman unapologetically refused to ignore the pain and darkness that infects mankind. There will never be another filmmaker like him. "
" Bergman may find little with which to console himself, but he's still able to look at suffering with an intensity that's unlike any other the movies have ever known. "
" This is just great filmmaking, great storytelling, and just stays with you for so long afterwards. "
" Think of Saraband ... as an after-dinner mint: a film that looks in on the same characters three decades later and finds their rage both cooled and passed down to the next generation. "
" The performances are perfectly distilled, but the traits I dislike in Bergman are all here -- self-pity, brutality, spiritual constipation, and an unwillingness to try to overcome these difficulties. "
" A parlour-room theatre of emotional cruelty, with all exits barred by the past. "
" For those inclined to search for psychological twists, the film offers plenty of Freudian situations capable of provoking lengthy discussions. For the film buff, the discussions will turn to a Bergman still at the peak of his craft. "
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