hHere’s an elegant and thoughtful double-edged novel by Mia Hansen Love, a parallel romance about monogamy and its dissatisfaction. It is located on the Swedish island of Fårø, the home of Ingmar Bergman and the location of many of his films, while preserving his home and grounds as a festival and study center. It’s an intriguing autobiography, and the discussion and Bergman-like atmosphere instantly create something serious, though the effect is self-conscious and thirsty at times. Perhaps to deter accusations of an impotent cult of Bergman, the film has a character who harshly attacks Bergman’s reputation, but the effect is otherwise unsatisfactory.
Tim Roth and Vicki Krebs play Tony and Chris, the famous film director and screenwriter who came here for a creative getaway. Chris wants to tell Tony about the script, which she’s having a problem with: It’s unhelpful and distracting, but we still saw the idea of Chris’ movie being played out on screen. The film stars inside Mia Wasikowska and Anders Danielsen’s Lie as Amy and Joseph, a married couple who were teenage lovers but break up and find themselves rekindling the spark in a difficult and heartbreaking way, as they meet later in life as guests at a mutual friend’s wedding.
Reinforcing Amy’s grief and clarifying Chris’ own suspicions about their relationship, this juxtaposition of real and imagined versions of marital problems is effective: though a little predictable when fact and fiction are properly blended. The film ends with a flourish that Almodovar could have created, though with less abundance in the primary colors. A film that is valuable if somewhat fair and understated.
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