The film boasts impeccable performances (von Sydow is splendid as Anna's father). But with a running time of three hours, this weighty drama tests the most patient soul.
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It's all very pretty, but its use of motion-picture possibilities is unimaginative. What lifts The Best Intentions above its visual limitations, and makes it seem impressive, is the extraordinary depth and sincerity of Bergman's screenplay.
An epic story of mismatched love shaped in the most intimate terms, the Ingmar Bergman-scripted The Best Intentions packs a sustained emotional wallop that lightens its three-hour span.
Realized beautifully by director Bille August, Intentions is a moving, profound requiem to all human relationships.
For a time, The Best Intentions captures the elements of a profoundly difficult and credible love story, one plagued by essential differences that cannot be resolved.
For those looking to be stylishly entertained while learning more than anyone might ever want to know about the formation of the Bergman psyche, well, here it is.
The Best Intentions is the most moving film I’ve seen this year.
August keeps a discreet distance from the harsher realities, making The Best Intentions must viewing only if you find diluted Bergman better than no Bergman at all.
Never mind that Best Intentions, which was filmed both as a six-part TV miniseries and a three-hour movie, is occasionally uneven and sometimes confusing. It remains a rare August pleasure, a film for grown-up audiences that challenges and enriches.