Los Angeles Times - 11/16/1990
""...A film of great melancholy and introspection....A true classic..."
USA Today - 02/22/2002
"...Among the Swedish master's most accessible movies..."
Entertainment Weekly - 02/15/2002
"...Achingly wise....A film that goes where many others have gone but with a subtlety few have dreamed of..."
Uncut - 02/01/2003
"[A] 1957 road movie laced with symbolism, philosophical musing and sly humour..."
WILD STRAWBERRIES is among Ingmar Bergman's most rich and contemplative films, a lyrical reflection on guilt and disappointment in the form of a spiritual journey. The movie stars Victor Sjöström as Professor Isak Borg, an elderly academic who takes a trip by car from Stockholm to Lund to receive an honorary university degree, accompanied by his daughter-in-law (Ingrid Thulin). Along the way, they meet various passengers who seem to be weighed down by unresolved ethical dilemmas. Meanwhile, Borg's own existential crisis is triggered by dreams and memories in which he is confronted with past disappointments, missed opportunities, and troubled personal relationships with those close to him--his son (Gunnar Björnstrand), his mother (Naima Wifstrand), and his late wife (Gertrud Fridh). The film features stunning imagery, most notably in the flashback, dream, and nightmare sequences, as well as an outstanding final film performance by Sjöström (who is also a famed Swedish director of the silent era).
This film was released soon after THE SEVENTH SEAL, which had earned Bergman accolades from film critics and moviegoers the world over. Though similarly challenging and philosophically complex, WILD STRAWBERRIES is often considered the more accessible of the two movies because of its ultimate warmth and affirmation of life.
Ingmar Bergman's WILD STRAWBERRIES is the finely crafted and innovatively filmed story of an elderly professor's spiritual transformation. During a day trip to a town where the academic is to be awarded an honorary degree, long-forgotten memories are triggered by specific locales and encounters with the passengers he picks up along the way. Forced to reassess his past behavior, the professor begins to realize that some of the disappointments and botched relationships in his life may be a result of his own emotional shortcomings. This meditative film on loss and self-discovery--written and directed by Bergman--is universally acclaimed as one of the director's greatest achievements.