2022 Blind Spot Series: Through A Glass Darkly

 


What I knew going in: The premise.

Karin (Harriet Andersson) is recently released from a mental hospital and goes on vacation with her husband, Martin (Max von Sydow) to visit her father and brother (Gunnar Bjornstrand and Lars Passgard) in their remote cabin. She slowly starts to unravel.

I had to bring my boy Ingmar Bergman back to the Blind Spot series. Yes, he's my boy now that this ongoing series is what is directly responsible for introducing myself to his work. I've been wanting to see this one for a while considering how much I love von Sydow's work with Bergman, but it's Andersson who is the true star here.

Frankly, all of the men in Karin's life kind of suck. Her husband talks to her like she's a child while simultaneously trying to have sex with her, which dials the ick factor up to eleven. Her dad is pretty self centered. There's nothing wrong with Minus, her brother but this poor kid doesn't have it easy either. It's devastating in a way to watch her, because we the audience understand her struggles better than the people around her do. 

The film is intentionally structured like a 3 act play, which amplifies the setting. Every minute means something and no time is wasted. We stick with these four characters the entire time, and never encounter anyone new. 

I'm still a bit puzzled on how this ended up winning Oscars in TWO separate years, but it deserves them. I thoroughly enjoyed this, even though it's quite the downer.

Grade: A

Comments

  1. I am SO glad you liked it. I'm a huge fan and have been itching to rewatch it.

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    1. I liked this a lot better than Winter Light, I Need to watch the next film to complete the trilogy.

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    2. I struggled with the third film. Really like elements of it, but had a hard time with some of what it was going for.

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    3. It's going on the Blind Spot list for next year!

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  2. I have never seen this but always wanted to. Sweden and Bergman usually means a bit of downer:))

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    1. Unless it's Wild Strawberries, yeah, you're right. lol

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  3. This is a great film as I'm glad you liked this as I love that whole trilogy as I've only done I think almost half of Bergman's body of work. He isn't for everyone but he is a true artist.

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    1. Oh he's wonderful. I'm forever thankful for this series essentially introducing him to me. I haven't loved everything of his I've seen, but I haven't hated any of it yet either.

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  4. This was a solid film in Bergman's canon but not one that I've ever felt any pull to revisit. I expected it to be bleak, it is Bergman after all, and the acting was exceptional but I didn't feel much revelation when it wrapped up.

    I'm not sure if the Academy has fixed those holes in qualifying that allowed films to compete in separate years but this isn't the first time I've heard of it. When Ingrid Bergman won her third Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for 1974's Murder on the Orient Express she was competing against Valentina Cortese in Day for Night which had won Best Foreign Film the previous year. In her acceptance speech where Ingrid virtually handed the award to Valentina (who to be honest should have won) she mentioned that the film had won the year before and how she didn't understand why it had other nominations this year (Truffaut and the screenplay also received nods) but she was her rival and wasn't happy about it because she had loved her performance so much. It's a great acceptance speech (it's on YouTube). One of the best in Oscar history.

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    1. Ohhh I'll have to check that out! I wasn't aware of that.

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    2. Doh! I meant to include the link to Ingrid's acceptance speech but forget! It's short (about 2 1/2 mins) but one of the best, most gracious speeches I've ever seen.

      Ingrid had a fascinating life if you're not familiar with her, including being denounced on the floor of the US Senate for having a child out of wedlock with Roberto Rossellini. The senator who did the shaming actually called her a powerful influence for evil!!! if you can believe it! Ah the repressed 50's. It actually destroyed her Hollywood career for a goodly number of years until she won her second Oscar for Anastasia in 1956. She made several American funded films in Europe afterwards but didn't film a picture in the United States until 1969-the delightful if dated Cactus Flower. So after that longwinded intro here's the clip. :-)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ky5sW4no_cg&t=2s

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    3. Thank you for linking it! That Senator sucks, shame there's still people like him in the senate today.

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