Face to Face (1976) A-
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In this intense Ingmar Bergman drama, originally made for TV, his favorite leading lady (and mother of his son) Liv Ullmann plays Dr. Jenny Isaksson, a psychiatrist who is taking a vacation while her husband Dr. Erik Isaksson (Sven Lindberg) is busy elsewhere.
Haunted by visions of an old woman, Jenny suffers from profound but inexplicable depression. In search of escape from her problems, she engages in an affair with a married doctor Tomas Jacobi (Erland Josephson, another Bergman regular).
But the liaison only aggravates her condition, sparking hysteria and paranoia for Jenny. Again visited by hallucinations of the old woman, she attempts suicide. While hovering between life and death, she imagines seeing all the people who have been influential in her life, and rails against them for causing her neuroses.
Gradually recovering, she learns who the spectral old woman is and why she is undergoing harrowing emotional experience.
Like his later “Scenes From a Marriage,” Bergman’s “Face to Face” originated as a four-part TV series, which was then pared down into a two-hour and 16 minutes theatrical feature
Dramatically intense, emotionally riveting, and extremely well-acted, “Face to Face” garnered Oscar nominations for both director Bergman and actress Ullmann.
Oscar Nominations: 2
Actress: Liv Ullmann
Director: Ingmar Bergman
Oscar Awards: None
The winner of the Best Actress Oscar was Faye Dunaway for “Network.” The Directing Oscar went to John Avildsen’s populist sports drama, “Rocky.”
Running time: 136 Minutes.
Directed and written by Ingmar Bergman.
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