Academy Awards 1973 -
Best Cinematography: Sven Nykvist
USA Today - 10/01/1993
"...[A] morbidly beautiful drama..."
Ingmar Bergman's acclaimed drama, which deals with the fractured relationships between three sisters, is set in a vast turn-of-the-century manor house where unidentified voices are continually whispering and mingle with a dying woman's cries of pain. Karin and Maria (played by Ingrid Thulin and Liv Ullmann, respectively) have come to stay with their sister Agnes (Harriet Andersson), who is suffering from cancer, during the final stretch of her illness. Attending to Agnes is her faithful maid Anna (Kari Sylwan), who, in spite of her apparent social inferiority, is the only one who remains steadfast and dauntless until the very end--the two other women, plagued by guilt, loneliness, and jealousy of one another, are unable to offer assistance or even sympathy in their sister's hour of need. Lauded often for its innovative stylistic elements (such as flashbacks introduced by a fade to red--a color that dominates the picture as a whole--and extreme, expressive close-ups of the actresses' faces), CRIES AND WHISPERS features sumptuous period costume design and stunning photography by longtime Bergman cinematographer Sven Nykvist.