2014 Blind Spot Series: Fanny and Alexander



This wraps up my first year of doing the Blind Spot Series! I'm so glad Ryan created this and I'm looking forward to next year's.

What I knew going in: When I first published my list of the films I was going to be watching, many said to save this for December. So I knew it had a holiday theme.

The story follows the sprawling Ekdahl family over the course of a few years. Most of the focus is on young children Alexander (Bertil Guve) and Fanny. (Pernilla Allwin) Their father suddenly passes away in the film's first act, and their mother Emilie (Ewa Froling) remarries a bishop Edvard (Jan Malmsjo) despite him giving her several red flags like his bare as a bone house and his request that she and her children move their with no possessions whatsoever. Spoiler alert: he turns out to be a super douche. 

Igmar Bergman is still a director I'm new to. This was his 3rd film on my list, and it honestly felt so different from the other two I watched. I hate to say it, but it was a little over indulgent. The film is nearly three hours long when it had no right to be. I've seen a lot of comparisons with The Deer Hunter (coincidentally the first film I watched on my Blind Spot List) in terms of the first act. While I wasn't crazy about DH's first hour, I liked this one even less.

It's not to say the film is bad. It isn't. The story is interesting, it's very festive and the production design is flawless, I just think he over reached a bit. I see why he would want to, it is semi autobiographical. 

Recommended: Sure. It's still a good film, albeit a little bloated. 

Grade: B-

Memorable Quote: "I can speak for myself, but not for them." Emilie (Ewa Froling)

10 comments:

  1. Awww, I love this movie. So big and bold and beautiful. It is self indulgent, but I don't think to a fault. I think that it fits the overall feel and scope of the film. I'm glad you at least liked it, even if it wasn't a lot. Froling and Malmsjo give two of my favorite Supporting performances of all time here...such raw intensity and brutal honesty.

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    1. I think if the first hour of the film had been trimmed up a bit, I would've loved it.

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  2. Which version did you see? the 3-hour version or the five-plus hours version?

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    1. The three hour. I'm not sure if I could've made it through the 5 hour, I already thought this one was bloated. lol

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  3. I have had this movie on my list for ages. It sounds like a powerful film that could've benefited from editing. :-) My favorite Bergman (based on those I've seen so far) is Wild Strawberries.

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    1. I liked Wild Strawberries too. Persona has been my favorite though.

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  4. I'm really obsessing over Bergman at the moment and working through his filmography has been such an amazing journey. Fanny and Alexander is easily one of my favourites. I'm so glad you enjoyed it too although I probably wouldn't recommend the 5 hour version if you felt the 3 hour was too bloated haha. Can't wait to see your Blind Spot list for 2015.

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    1. I already posted it, actually! I suppose I'll have to update my side bar now. Persona has been my favorite of his so far.

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  5. This isn't really one of my favorite Bergman films, but I do love it. I haven't seen it in years though, so I really need to give it another look. I suspect I'd like it even more now.

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    1. I think if I ever did watch this again, I'd start about 60 mins in. lol

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