Directed by: Ingmar Bergman
Starring: Max von Sydow, Liv Ullmann, Bibi Andersson, Erland Josephson
When this ran back in 2007, I said it was “one of Bergman’s more flawed works. Of course, flawed Bergman is apt to be a lot more worthwhile than the best of many lesser filmmakers. That’s the case here — and for that matter, even some of Bergman’s flaws are not uninteresting. The single greatest drawback to The Passion isn’t Bergman’s insistence on breaking up the drama by inserting interviews with the four main actors (though the device only partly works). Rather, it’s the film’s strange narrative jump from Andreas Winkelman (Max von Sydow) having an affair with Eva Vergerus (Bibi Andersson) to living with Anna Fromm (Liv Ullmann). It just happens, leaving the film feeling like there’s a chunk missing. Knowing Bergman’s work, this is probably deliberate, and it does tie in to the fact that The Passion is an often inconclusive work — even to the extent that it contains an unresolved mystery element involving an apparent psycho who tortures and kills animals. The problem is that the jump doesn’t work.”
Full review here: http://www.mountainx.com/movies/review/passion_of_anna
In Brief: Saying that The Passion of Anna is one of Ingmar Bergman’s lesser works is almost meaningless since, with Bergman, ranking his films is mostly a case of splitting hairs in superlatives. This essay in estrangement and isolation is really no different in that regard, though it’s not likely to make the top of anyone’s Bergmanography.