12 Days of Christmas: Fanny and Alexander

Fanny och Alexander (1982)

It's Christmas Eve at the Ekdahl family household. They are a large and extremely wealthy family and for the most part a happy family. But they are plagued with the usual family problems. The matriarch, Helena has three grown children. Gustav who constantly cheats on his wife. Carl whose German wife nobody likes and Oscar who is married to the beautiful Emilie and has two children - Fanny and Alexander. Oscar and Emilie are in the theatre. A couple days later Oscar mysteriously dies leaving Emilie alone and forced to make some difficult decisions that effect everyone, especially the children. All of this happens through the eyes of Fanny and Alexander, especially Alexander.

This was to be Ingmar Bergman's last movie and it was originally shot for television. The TV version is a whopping 312 minutes but it was also released in a condensed 188 minute theatrical version. This is the version that I've watched and it feels like a complete movie - I can't imagine what was cut out.

I don't know why but I like Bergman's movies. They can be pretentious as he tries to explore the human condition but there's always something more to them. And this is one of his more accessibly films. There is a bit of magic and the odd ghost thrown into the film but it all works seamlessly because it's all seen through the children Alexander and Fanny's eyes.

1 comment:

Bret Bell said...

Ingmar Bergman, pretentious? Nah. Roland Emmerich, pretentious? Yup.