Fanny och Alexander

Fanny och Alexander

DVD - 2004 | Swedish
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Told through the eyes of Alexander and his sister Fanny, we see the exuberant and colorful Ekdahl household in a Swedish town early in the twentieth century. Their parents, Oscar and Emilie, are the director and the leading lady of the local theatre company. Oscar's mother and brother are its chief patrons. After Oscar's early death, his widow marries the bishop and moves with her children to his austere and forbidding chancery. The children are immediately miserable, but befriend a local Jewish merchant whose odd household becomes the children's refuge.

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Nursebob
Jul 18, 2018

Set in 1907, Bergman’s kaleidoscopic swan song (his last theatrical movie), part autobiography part child’s eye fairy tale, follows the changing fortunes of Alexander Ekdahl and his little sister Fanny. Bergman’s love for the theatre, and mistrust of religion, are evident throughout this grand period drama. Whether it be a children’s slide show, an ornate Christmas pageant, or a series of loving soliloquies extolling the virtues of stage and actor, there is a touch of magic to his film which manages to buoy his young protagonists even in their darkest moments. A midnight creep through the fantastical home of Alexander’s Uncle Isak, culminating in a most dramatic encounter with “God”, is pure cinematic wizardry. Furthermore, to his credit, Bergman does not demonize the Reverend Vergerus but rather shows him as a fully fleshed and tragically flawed human being who desires to do what is right but is crippled by his uncompromising religious convictions; a broken life-sized crucifix hidden away in his attic speaks volumes. But gloom and despair aside this is ultimately a comedy in the literary sense, replete with candlelit celebrations, loving smiles and a storybook ending. Originally filmed for Swedish television, Bergman’s original version had to be cut by more than two hours for this theatrical release and all that editing does take its toll on the story’s sense of continuity. Despite that however, Fanny and Alexander remains a true testament to his genius and a fitting capstone to a fascinating career.

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VonHafenstaaad
Oct 23, 2017

Any serious film buff has to consider the master Ingmar Bergman one of the greatest movie directors who has ever lived. He has made great film after great film, and I think Fanny and Alexander ranks among his top three finest achievements (along with The Seventh Seal and Persona ). It differs interestingly from every other movie of his I've seen in its taking in large part a child's point of view. This wasn't only rare for Bergman but it's rare to see a movie made by anyone that shows children, in their viewing of the adult world around them, in such a realistic and interesting way, involving both trauma and joy in these young lives. Yet the children (Alexander being more prominent than Fanny of the titles characters) don't get in the way of showing the great dynamics and complexities of the adult world as well. And these two worlds--those of children and adults--interact in pleasant and somewhat grim ways.

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ANTHONYZEDAN
Jan 20, 2017

an engaging magical masterpiece of cinema about the struggles of an observant brother and sister of loving actor parents, told from the brother's imaginative point of view, of the high and lows of being a member of a large prosperous family and then the hardships that follow. The whole film uses Shakespeare's play Hamlet as a subtext to understand the psychological complexities of its characters and their relationships to each other. The power of the human imagination and the resilience of love are heavily on display in this film.

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SunsetBranch
Jan 20, 2016

Happiness, suffering and redemption: it's all in there

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David2074
Jul 31, 2015

Loonnnng, sloooowww movie.
And this is the roughly 3 hour (3:09) theatrical version. If this is the shortened version that is pared down to the best stuff then the six hour version must be very tedious to sit though. I didn't hate it, but the story it told could have been told in much less time. It did get a bit more interesting in the latter half but it took them over an hour and a half to get to the kids moving to the bishop's house.
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On the plus side, I thought the costumes and sets were great. Also the English dubbing is pretty good. The mouth flaps are close enough it doesn't look too weird and perhaps more importantly, the voice actors are believable. It is easy to watch most of the movie forgetting that you are not watching it in its native language.
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I gave it three stars for the production value and some interesting scenes in spite of it being slow in other places.

Marinetti May 13, 2015

In my opinion this is Bergman's masterpiece- he's made quite a few great films ( and some duds ) but this one stands out from the rest- I'd even go so far as to say it's magical ( and also nightmarish at times ).

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0cho
Mar 23, 2015

I couldn’t be bothered with this movie. I got through about an hour of this and couldn’t figure out what this movie is about. The costumes and sets are great just couldn’t get into the story.

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StopHarperNow
Nov 26, 2014

I would respectfully suggest the OPL extend the length of time allowed for borrowing this DVD set. There are a total of five discs to view - but only one week is given to view everything. The feature is 180 minutes long but the many extras on the four additional discs justify additional borrowing time, in my opinion. Thank you for your kind consideration!

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riita
Nov 18, 2014

This is a great Christmas movie (Swedish) about family relationships in a Swedish family.

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Ecsandar
Feb 22, 2014

Many unforgettable scenes and characters, stunning cinematography. Wonderful child actors. Not a film for young children, however.

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