Enskilda samtal (Private Confessions) (Private Conversations)
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Enskilda samtal (Private Confessions) (Private Conversations)
PRIVATE CONFESSIONS does justice to its stellar origins. Like Bergman's earlier SCENES FROM A MARRIAGE, the film unpeels the layers in a husband-wife relationship over a period of decades. It begins in 1925 as the 36-year-old Anna Bergman (luminously played by Pernilla August) confesses to an elderly priest (von Sydow), that she is having an affair. He advises her to break it off and tell her husband the truth. Each scene is essentially an encounter: between Anna and her husband, her lover, best friend, or the priest. As the story moves forward in time and then, dramatically, backwards to… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 82%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Ullman isn't particularly interested in the angst of human interaction or the difficulty of knowing truth; she seems fascinated by the pathos of feelings that are all the more intense for being of questionable integrity."
‑ Ronnie Scheib, Chicago Reader
"The actors clearly respond, August conveying the turmoil of a woman trapped by circumstances and her own febrile emotions, Sydow a figure of towering moral authority and compassion."
‑ Trevor Johnston, Time Out
"The sight of von Sydow vomiting up a communion wafer is a pretty good indication that age hasn't mellowed the master one whit."
‑ Ken Fox, TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Bergman may have withdrawn from film direction, but his presence is deeply felt in Private Confessions."
‑ Ed Kelleher, Film Journal International
"Each sequence is introduced by an intertitle suggesting it will contain an isolated conversation, an archly inaccurate notion that deepens the drama by appearing to deny its complexity."
‑ Lisa Alspector, Chicago Reader
"Coming from the master's hand, the result is unique, akin to a deep plunge into a northern lake -- there's a chilling clarity to the experience, a harsh beauty that's softened, yet never redeemed, by unexpected pockets of relative warmth."
‑ Rick Groen, Globe and Mail
"It works, and works beautifully, principally because of an outstanding performance by Ms. August."
‑ Harvey S. Karten, Compuserve
"It's the next best thing to Bergman -- a thoughtful, if slightly long drama enlivened by warm performances and some thoughtful meditations on the subject of adultery."
‑ Jeff Vice, Deseret News, Salt Lake City
"Ullmann handles the rich material with simplicity and feeling, using snatches of classical music only sparingly and concentrating on the faces of her exemplary cast."
‑ David Stratton, Variety
"Private Confessions achieves an enveloping intensity that goes well beyond its occasionally literal and earnest approach."
‑ Janet Maslin, New York Times
"Von Sydow is magisterial. His gaunt face and rumbling voice have become, for me, impossible to distinguish from Bergman's own."
‑ Walter V. Addiego, San Francisco Examiner