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film review

Vicky Krieps as ‘Chris’ and Tim Roth as “Tony” in a scene from Bergman Island.Courtesy of IFC Films

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  • Bergman Island
  • Written and directed by Mia Hansen-Love
  • Starring Vicky Krieps, Tim Roth and Mia Wasikowska
  • Classification R; 112 minutes
  • Available at select Canadian theatres, including the TIFF Lightbox, starting Oct. 15; available on-demand starting Oct. 22

Critic’s Pick

In Mia Hansen-Love’s wonderful new film Bergman Island, filmmaker couple Tony and Chris (played by Tim Roth and Phantom Thread’s Vicky Krieps) escape to the Swedish residence of the legendary auteur Ingmar Bergman for a burst of artistic inspiration that quickly turns caustic.

Tony (a stand-in for Hansen-Love’s ex, Olivier Assayas) is a famous filmmaker who can’t wait to write his next masterpiece in the bedroom where Scenes from a Marriage was created. Chris (Hansen-Love’s avatar) is also a budding auteur, living in the shadow of her partner. While the film first regales us in sightseeing tours of the scenic Faro Island, it ends in an unexpected wallop of heartbreak as Chris begins to describe the film-within-a-film she’s writing in her notebook to her inattentive partner.

Incredibly well observed and surprising, Hansen-Love’s meta skewering of Bergman film bros is more than welcome, making space for female artists with their own feelings on the Criterion collection.

In the interest of consistency across all critics’ reviews, The Globe has eliminated its star-rating system in film and theatre to align with coverage of music, books, visual arts and dance. Instead, works of excellence will be noted with a Critic’s Pick designation across all coverage.

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