Face to Face (rewatch)
Posted by martinteller on February 15, 2015
I was finally able to get my hands on a subtitled copy of the full, television version. It’s roughly a half hour longer, divided into four acts. I had hoped this cut would help the movie come together a little better. Unfortunately, even though I’d seen the film three times before, I couldn’t remember enough to pinpoint which were the bits I hadn’t seen before. I think most of it was in the first act, scenes of Jenny (Liv Ullmann) with her grandparents (Aino Taube, Gunnar Björnstrand). They didn’t add much. The movie still starts to fall apart in the often-hysterical (not funny hysterical, but raving hysterical) second half. The dream sequences and psychological explorations are occasionally insightful but more often the screenplay is “a landmark of clichés”, as Bergman himself put it.
There’s some good stuff here, especially Ullmann’s performance, which is stunning despite the sometimes weak material. But the deeper Bergman tries to delve into Jenny’s psychological issues, the more pat it becomes, straining for depth that never gets communicated to the viewer. Rating: Fair (66)