"It's a gripping, richly conceived family drama, faintly atypical in its extrovert dramatic and comic devices, and with an electrifying touch of the supernatural. In provincial Sweden in 1907, the two unhappy children of the title have to leave the paradise of their prosperous family home, with all its warmth and gaiety, when their father dies; to their horror, their beautiful mother (Ewa Fröling) has accepted a marriage proposal from the cold and disagreeable Bishop (Jan Malmsjö) who presided over their father's lavish, almost state funeral. "
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"The longer running time fleshes out motives and sheds light on previously unnoticed performances. Crucial speeches get vocalized, phantoms in the attic literally materialize, and Alexander's imagination is finally set free during a mythic final-act yarn spun by his bedside. Go on, indulge yourself."
""Fanny and Alexander," is one of the most detailed and specific he's ever made, and therefore one of the most universal. It comes directly out of his experience as a Swede in his mid-60s who was born into a world of rigid religious belief, grew up in a world of war and turmoil, and is now old enough, wise enough and resigned enough to develop a sort of philosophical mysticism about life."