I’m not sure why I went to see this – I tend to avoid my favourite actors on chat shows, in interviews or just being themselves because I’m so often disappointed, and the myth has been shattered. I’d rather just see their work on the screen, which is why I like them in the first place.
I guess I was hoping to learn more about the Hollywood background or the making of her films, but as her daughter Isabella Rossellini comments, her personal letters, diaries and home video are all about her family. And one of the main things we learn is that she was hardly ever with her children, preferring instead to do precisely what she wanted – take whichever job she wanted, marry the men she wanted, move to the country she wanted – without appearing to realise that, as the mother of four, sometimes you can’t do exactly what you want when there are young lives reliant on you.
And this may be heresy, but Alicia Vikander didn’t do the film any favours. She was ‘playing’ Bergman, in that she was reading the letters the actress had written to narrate the events depicted. But her delivery was so monotone and without emotion that I was starting to yawn.
Had this been on BBC4 on a Saturday evening, I would have been OK with it, but I’m not convinced it deserved a theatrical release.
A version of this post appeared on http://www.filmdispenser.com/