London Film Festival 2021: Bergman Island

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London Film Festival 2021: Bergman Island | Review

October 8, 2021


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Mia Hansen-Løve brings his ode to love and art with Bergman Island (12 years later Father of my children won the special jury prize at Un Certain Regard in Cannes). The story takes place on the eponymous island of Fårö, Sweden, where famous director Ingmar Bergman filmed several of his images and lived his final years until his death. Couple Chris (Vicky Krieps) and Tony (Tim Roth) travel to work on their respective scripts. She writes with ease and is celebrated and praised by those on the island; for Tony, it’s a self-inflicted pain that seems to only reach a smaller audience. As they both write and try to draw inspiration from Bergman, two stories merge to turn reality around.

Audiences are immersed in Chris’ script world as Amy (Mia Wasikowska), an American filmmaker, travels to Fårö for a wedding which her former sweetheart Joseph also attends (Anders Danielsen Lie). It’s a shame because just when you start to get really drawn into the art of the couple, the relationship and the tensions that bridge the disparity in their recognition, the whole story changes. Amy attends the wedding only to plan to wear a white dress and longs for Joseph. It must be said, however, that the French director captures the heartbreaking awkwardness of being so in love with someone who doesn’t reciprocate. The constant gaze back to see where he is, checking his phone every minute, then finally bursting into tears on a friend’s shoulder: Amy’s grief can be understood by anyone.

Wandering on the side of the pretentious with a strange narrative structure, Hansen-LøveThe direction breaks all the limits of the narrative. The chemistry between Roth and Krieps is so naturalistic, capturing the secret language of their characters, rife with annoyances, misunderstandings, and private jokes. Corn Bergman Island is ultimately not spectacular because it does not allow the audience to fully immerse themselves in one of the characters’ stories. Nevertheless, it is a soft and relatable image of the difficulties of being a filmmaker and in love.

Emma Kiely

Bergman Island does not yet have a UK release date.

Read more reviews and interviews from our coverage of the London Film Festival 2021 here.

For more information about the festival, visit the official BFI website here.

Watch the trailer for Bergman Island here:


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