Unique Perspectives: Our Review of ‘Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words’ on BD

Posted in Blu-Ray/DVD, Movies by - August 18, 2016
Unique Perspectives: Our Review of ‘Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words’ on BD

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There are simply some pop culture icons that just transcend time and exist on a different plain from everything else.  Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words is the kind of bio documentary that needs to be made as just like last year’s Listen To Me Marlon it is a style of documentary filmmaking that allows the subjects story to be told by the subject herself.

A story that has been told before, but that doesn’t make it any less remarkable as Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words tracks the story of a young Swedish girl and her dreams of becoming an actress who ultimately became one of the most respected and revered actress in the modern film world.

Not one to shy away from portraits of iconic characters, writer/director Stig Bjorkman gives us a beautifully honest portrayal of the woman that she was which doesn’t gloss over or shy away from anything that might be considered less than favorable.

A complex and surprisingly intimate affair, we see how she truly was a creature of impulse rather then one of pure motivation or a cold and calculating desire to succeed.  Bjorkman via diary readings by the incomparable Alicia Vikander gives us a tender and vulnerable Bergman in moments when she is trying to come to grips with some of the things that are happening in her life and she is wrapped up in the magic of the work that she is getting to do.  That is her only focus, even in relationships and with children that she has, the work for her is always first.  Not that her children are all that upset by as she still managed to be this ethereal creature to her children all four of which she had by two of her three first husbands, as all of her children take part in this piece.  They don’t shy away from the fact that she was hardly ever around, but they adored their times with her to such a point that all they can do is hope for more.  While Vikander’s readings really do make Bergman come alive with a near sensual energy, we can’t help but see how much she was at odds with her very own life.

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Granted seeing more behind the scenes details and insight from her work could have made this so much more of a rewarding experience for the fans, this film allows us to see Ingrid Bergman for who she was.  A dedicated artist, be damned what anyone else thought, it’s a nice treat for fans and neophytes a like but a little more depth could have made it fairly epic.

Special Features include a new interview with director Stig Bjorkman, a selection of 8mm home movies that were shot by Bergman herself, Deleted and Extended scenes, Clip from the 1932 film Landskamp that features Bergman in her first on screen role.  Outtakes from Bergman’s 1936 film On The Sunny Side, there’s also a music video for The Movie’s About Us by Eva Dahlgren that is featured on the soundtrack, the theatrical trailer and an essay in the booklet from film scholar Jeanine Basinger.

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This post was written by
David Voigt is a Toronto based writer with a problem and a passion for the moving image and all things cinema. Having moved from production to the critical side of the aisle for well over 10 years now at outlets like Examiner.com, Criticize This, Dork Shelf (Now That Shelf), to.Night Newspaper he’s been all across his city, the country and the continent in search of all the news and reviews that are fit to print from the world of cinema.

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