Owen Gleiberman
February 16, 2001 AT 05:00 AM EST

Faithless

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
142 minutes
Limited Release Date
01/26/01
performer
Lena Endre, Thomas Hanzon, Krister Hendriksson, Michelle Gylemo, Erland Josephson
director
Liv Ullmann
Producers
SVT Drama
distributor
Samuel Goldwyn Films
author
Ingmar Bergman
genre
Drama

We gave it an A-

Faithless marks the second time that Liv Ullmann has directed a script by Ingmar Bergman, and the movie, a searing close-up epic of adultery, is so layered with associations from their previous work — not just Scenes From a Marriage but every moment Ullmann ever turned her face to the camera in voluptuous anguish — that the result feels immersed in a chamber of memory.

Marianne (Lena Endre), a serenely willful actress, destroys the affectionate and sensual haven of her marriage by commencing an affair with the couple’s good friend (Krister Henriksson). Bergman, who now views his characters with the lordly detachment of a psychoanalytic deity, homes in on the terrifying hidden design of adultery — the way that its very destructiveness can fulfill a couple’s secret need to tear at and caress each other’s wounds. When Marianne’s husband (Thomas Hanzon) discovers the affair, he exacts a terrible price that feels as intimate in its vengeance as any marital bond. Erland Josephson, as Bergman’s stand-in confessor, has to do a bit too much empathetic staring, but Faithless is a domestic tragedy of lacerating vision. A-

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