Faithless

"Good"

Faithless Review


For any film aficionado familiar with the intimate personal history between late Swedish writer-director Ingmar Bergman and actress Liv Ullman, it's hard to watch "Faithless" without one's mind racing with questions about the autobiographical subtext.

Written by Bergman and directed by Ullman, the deeply intimate film is about Marianne (Lena Endre), a beautiful middle-aged actress subverting her passionate marriage to a celebrated orchestra conductor, Markus (Thomas Hanzon), by beginning an affair with struggling film director, David (Krister Henriksson).

Even more revealing, the catalyst for the story is a series of brainstorming sessions in which a frail, aged director (Erland Josephson) -- not so coincidentally named Bergman -- is working on a screenplay. He imagines long, emotionally charged conversations with Marianne, who joyously rehashes the beginning of the affair and painfully recalls the demise of her marriage.

Is Marianne a memory? Is she a ghost? Or could she just be an intensely imagined fictional muse -- this director's way of getting in touch viscerally with the characters in his script?

Ultimately that question is left up to the viewer as the film drifts back and forth between the complete upheaval Marianne's romantic self-sabotage brings into her life and her tearful recounting of those events to Bergman in the tranquility of his secluded beachfront home. Both elements of the film are equally poignant and both are resonant with tenderness, affection, grief and sorrow.

Endre creates great sympathy for Marianne even as "Faithless" moves through her memories of the unjust infidelity that began as flattered curiosity. It's clear enough that David, a long-time friend of Marianne's husband's, has been infatuated with her for some time. Although her love life with handsome, virile Markus is lively and fervent, she arranges to rendezvous with the seemingly joyless David in Paris for a tryst to satisfy a capricious yearning she cannot seem to quell.

Although theirs is an oddly impassive and strenuous infidelity, when Marianne and David return home to Stockholm, they've become so embroiled in their adultery that they're unable to break it off. Inevitably, Markus catches on, and when he finally confronts his unfaithful wife and friend, his percolating rage (and David's ongoing paranoid jealousy) brings about an ugly divorce and custody battle for the couple's young daughter, whom Markus uses as a pawn.

Ullman's discerningly low-key directing style lets even the subtlest of emotions reach the viewer without any loss of potency in this uniquely structured film. When the action is taking place in the relative sanctuary of Bergman's study, Marianne's still-ardent feelings of fleeting euphoria and protracted anguish are just as effectual as in the scenes from her memory. This is a testament to Endre's talent as well as Ullman's deft and perceptive execution.

Coalescing in such brilliant performances and seasoned with allusion and symbolism that give the picture an ambiguously limbo-like atmosphere, "Faithless" is enthrallingly original work of highly personal fiction.



Faithless

Facts and Figures

Run time: 142 mins

In Theaters: Friday 15th September 2000

Production compaines: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

IMDB: 7.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Carol Morgan, as William 'Bill' Wade, Hugh Herbert as Mr. Peter M. Blainey, Louise Closser Hale as First landlady, Maurice Murphy as Anthony 'Tony' Wade, Anna Appel as Mrs. Mandel, Second Landlady, Lawrence Grant as Mr. Ledyard, Henry Kolker as Mr. Carter, Geneva Mitchell as Party Guest (uncredited)

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The Edge of Seventeen Movie Review

The Edge of Seventeen Movie Review

An unusually realistic teen movie, this drama gets deep under the skin of its characters,...

Bleed for This Movie Review

Bleed for This Movie Review

This is such a ripping true story that it can't help but grab hold of...

Moana Movie Review

Moana Movie Review

In a clear echo of Frozen, this Disney animated adventure centres on a fiercely independent...

Bad Santa 2 Movie Review

Bad Santa 2 Movie Review

The 2003 comedy Bad Santa is a holiday classic that skilfully mixes gross-out humour with...

Allied Movie Review

Allied Movie Review

There's a terrific script at the heart of this World War II thriller, with a...

A United Kingdom Movie Review

A United Kingdom Movie Review

Based on a powerful true story from the late 1940s, this drama is packed with...

Indignation Movie Review

Indignation Movie Review

Philip Roth's layered novels are a challenge for filmmakers (see also 2003's The Human Stain...

Advertisement
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie Review

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie Review

It's been five years since the last Harry Potter movie, and J.K. Rowling has been...

Dog Eat Dog Movie Review

Dog Eat Dog Movie Review

Yet another bonkers thriller starring Nicolas Cage, this trashy crime comedy comes from director Paul...

Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall Movie Review

Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall Movie Review

"Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall" is a DVD...

Arrival Movie Review

Arrival Movie Review

This sci-fi drama has an enjoyably brain-bending plot that leaves the audience almost stunned with...

Elle Movie Review

Elle Movie Review

There's a boldly comical tone to this outrageous thriller that can't help but unnerve audiences...

100 Streets Movie Review

100 Streets Movie Review

A multi-strand drama set in London, this film is very nicely shot and acted, but...

Nocturnal Animals Movie Review

Nocturnal Animals Movie Review

It's been seven years since designer Tom Ford made a splash with his award-winning writing-directing...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.