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The Crack Magazine

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Bergman Island

Director: Mia Hansen-Løve

Stars: Mia Wasikowska, Vicky Krieps, Tim Roth, Anders Danielsen Lie

Mia Hansen-Løve’s film boasts some clever nods to Swedish director Ingmar Bergman, his influence, and the industry he’s spawned. Consequently, this is more likely to appeal to buffs than the casual viewer. Filmmaking couple Chris and Tony (Krieps and Roth) are on a summer retreat to Fårö, the island home of Bergman where he filmed many of his classic pictures, in order to work on their respective scripts. Tony is a successful, self-consciously cool director who, alongside working on his new project, is due to give a public talk on his work. The quieter Chris feels a little inhibited writing in Bergman’s house and sleeping in the room where he made ‘Scenes from a Marriage’. Inevitably she begins to ponder their relationship, which is reflected on the script she is working on, presented by Love as a film within a film, in which Mia Wasikowska is a young American filmmaker reuniting with her lost love (Lie from ‘The Worst Person in the World) on Fårö. This meta-exploration of creativity and relationships feels a little formalist and insular in comparison to Hansen-Løve’s earlier more vital films such as ‘Eden’ and ‘Goodbye First Love’. Still, Vicky Krieps and Tim Roth exhibit a considerable lived-in chemistry, but the story within a story, feels bland and uninvolving (although arguably that could be part of the Russian Doll conceit) with Wasikowska a wan and uninteresting presence.

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