Johan and Marianne planned to finalize their divorce after several years. They met in order to sign the papers but it was an extremely difficult task to carry out. Touching a low point in his life, ...
Marianne, some thirty years after divorcing Johan, decides to visit her ex-husband at his summer home. She arrives in the middle of a family drama between Johan's son from another marriage and his granddaughter.
In the midst of a civil war, former violinists Jan and Eva Rosenberg, who have a tempestuous marriage, run a farm on a rural island. In spite of their best efforts to escape their homeland, the war impinges on every aspect of their lives.
Two estranged sisters, Ester and Anna, and Anna's 10-year-old son travel to the Central European country on the verge of war. Ester becomes seriously ill and the three of them move into a hotel in a small town called Timoka.
Ten years of Marianne and Johan's relationship are presented. We first meet them ten years into their marriage. He is a college professor, she a divorce lawyer. They say that they are happily married - unlike their friends Katarina and Peter who openly fight, especially when under the influence of alcohol - but there is a certain detached aloofness in the way they treat each other. In the next ten years, as they contemplate or embark upon divorce and/or known extramarital affairs, they come to differing understandings at each phase of their relationship of what they truly mean to each other. Regardless of if it's love or hate - between which there is a fine line - they also come to certain understandings of how they can best relate to each other, whether that be as husband and wife, friends, lovers or none of the above.Written by
Bergman's script for the (shortened) film version has been used for theatrical performances. See more »
Sometimes you ask such goddamn silly questions.
Sorry. Are you angry with me?
I'm not angry, but I'm on the verge of tears. The trouble with me is that I can't get angry. I wish that for once in my life I could really lose my temper, as I sometimes feel I have every right to. I think it would change my life. But that's not the point. You spoke earlier about loneliness. That bit about being strong on your own. I don't believe in your gospel of isolation.I think it's a sign of weakness.
[...] See more »
The end credits aren't shown on-screen but read by director and writer Ingmar Bergman, while "a beautiful picture of Fårö" is shown (different for each episode). Bergman himself is not credited at all. See more »
A 299 minute version is featured on a 3-disc Criterion Collection DVD, released in 2004. See more »
Concerto for violin, strings & continuo in B flat major, Op. 10, No. 1
Written by Tomaso Albinoni
A short extract is played during the very beginning and end of each episode (it's not featured in the theatrical version) See more »
"Scenes From A Marriage" is quite simply that: we meet Marianne & Johan ten years into their union & we witness half a dozen scenes of their lives. I'm not married, but I have of course known many people, family & friends, who were married & who talked, acted, & lived much like this couple does. That they are well-educated & affluent is somewhat irrelevant - married couples often seem to be keeping a certain secret (some keep it better than others) that they disguise with contentment, ritual, obligation, affection. Most of the time they keep this secret even from themselves. This movie is about the gradual discovery of the two main characters of the nature & ramifications of that secret.
As far as Bergman films go, it's strangely pretty, in color, with two attractive leads. But I think perhaps Bergman (& Sven Nykvist) sought to give us a sense of familiarity with the suburban, middle-class surroundings to lure us into a false sense of the security of the marriage in question. Without giving anything away, I suggest that this film is no less dark & heavy than other Bergman films; it rather goes for the heart in the way that you often wish modern dramas about relationships would. It's not trite, nor contrived, nor easily resolved. It's wise as life.
The movie was edited down by Bergman from a six-episode television series, which comprise the "scenes." The cast is great, but it's Ullmann & Josephson's show, & Ullmann is such a magnificent actor that I marvel at her expressive face, which Bergman smartly keeps his camera on.
It's unbearably wise, & sometimes difficult, but there aren't many films out there as honest as this one.
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