Cannes 2021: Bergman Island is Mia Hansen-Løve’s best film [critique]

With Vicky Krieps, Tim Roth, Mia Wasikowska and Anders Danielsen Lie.

Mia Hansen-Løve signs its entry into the Cannes competition. Logic: this film of overwhelming melancholy is its best!

A couple of filmmakers, Chris and Tony (Tim Roth, in a stripped down register where he excels) who settled down to write on the island of Fårö, where Bergman lived… With his most autobiographical film, Mia Hansen-Løve n ‘ was not afraid of obstacles: dealing with a possibly excluding subject (we know the difficulty of films about cinema in finding their audience) or confronting the Swedish maestro. Yet none of this, and even less the vagaries of a hectic production, is reflected on the screen. Bergman Island conversely fascinates by the incredible clarity of its story mixing the reality of this couple and the fiction of the scenario written by Chris which takes shape on the screen. First of all, because it knows how to desecrate – without damaging it – the imposing figure of Bergman through the description of the cinephile tourist routes organized on this island. But above all because she does not sign a film on him more than on the cinema. Bergman Island is first and foremost the story of a double emancipation. That of a filmmaker, who sees herself as totally dependent on the father of her child. And that of her heroine, haunted by a first love that she has never been able to forget. There reigns over this double story the melancholy of these finished stories which nevertheless continue to shine like dead stars. This film has the grace, that of its main actress, the dazzling Vicky Krieps. There are also fragments of all previous Mia Hansen-Løve (from Father of my children at Young love). As if he was concluding a cycle and opening another. In the manner of what his heroines experience. Autobiographical to the end.

Vicky Krieps: “I owe Mia Hansen-Løve my first shock as a cinema spectator”

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