Wednesday, July 22, 2009
The first time I watched Scenes from a Marriage I saw the theatrical release, winnowed down from three lifetimes to a mere one. I remember falling hard for Liv Ullman's performance, but not much else four or five years later.
The TV version is of course looser and there is much more space between the perfect marriage presented at the series' opening and the eventual post-apocalyptic relationship. Space is good for the most part, and I could happily watch these two actors (Ullman and Erland Johannsen)reading something totally worthless, like Family Guy scripts. Of course, Bergman's scripts are never worthless, and are only occasionally lame or banal. This one is excellent, and Bergman chose the right actors from his stable to bring this project home.
Ullman's performance is so good it makes me physically uncomfortable; I am literally right back in my childhood watching my mother go through her breakup and divorce. And Erland's role demands he play emotional Twister, which he manages with aplomb.