A filmmaking couple navigate love, recognition and Ingmar Bergman in Mia Hansen-Løve's triple-layered Cannes darling, a serene and self-reflective ode to film and storytelling.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2021
“Mia Hansen-Løve may not be the first 21st-century auteur who comes to mind when people consider the portentous legacy of Ingmar Bergman... And yet, Bergman Island — a triple-layered meta-romance about a filmmaker who flies to Sweden with her partner and pitches him a screenplay about her first love — is such a rare and remarkable movie for the very same reason that you wouldn’t expect it to exist in the first place. Set on the remote skerry in the Baltic Sea that Bergman adopted as his home… Hansen-Løve’s zephyr-calm story of loss, love, and artistic reclamation … begins as such an airy and lyrical Euro-drama that it’s hard to fathom the meta playfulness to come. And yet, from the moment that married filmmakers Chris (Vicky Krieps) and Tony (Tim Roth) arrive in Fårö, there’s a telling uncertainty as to what they’re supposed to be doing there.
As Chris begins to narrate the film within a film to her oblivious partner, we are spirited back and away into… a Linklater-tinged romantic drama about a New York-based filmmaker named Amy (Mia Wasikowska) who leaves her kid at home and travels solo to Fårö for a friend’s wedding. It’s the last best chance she’ll ever have to reconnect with the boy on whom she based her popular first movie… and Amy fully intends on making the most of it… Denis Lenoir’s sensitively crisp cinematography helps delineate between the various layers… though it’s hard not to get a bit drunk on the midnight blues that locate Amy’s Fårö in a dusky kind of dreamworld.” — David Ehrlich, Indiewire