MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +1 1/2

Content: -3

Based on biographical events in the life of director and screenwriter Ingmar Bergman, FAITHLESS delves into the memories of an aged writer as he recounts a love triangle between actress Marianne (Lena Endre), her husband Markus (Thomas Hanzon), and his best friend David (Krister Henriksson). Markus, a world famous symphony conductor, spends lots of time out of town, providing David, the character representing Bergman, and Marianne opportunity to spend plenty of time alone, which in turn breaks down barriers and eventually leads to adultery. Immediately though, David’s jealous desire for Marianne becomes a factor and their relationship is far from perfect. All the while, Marianne wants to keep her marriage together for appearance’s sake. However, with faithless behavior comes divorce, which leads to emptiness and pain, as stated by a poem read at the film’s opening. Typical of Bergman films, this movie based on real people tends toward a slow and deliberate pace that takes the audience inside the minds of these characters as they suffer through the consequences of their bad choices. A great character study combined with excellent writing, FAITHLESS has the added plus of director Liv Ullman, who starred in earlier Bergman films. It should perform well on the art house circuit.

People caught up in adultery do not seem to realize or care about the consequences of their actions. David and Marianne give little thought to the damage that will be done to her marriage, her relationship with her daughter, and David’s friendship with Markus. Instead, the happy couple giggles like elementary school children right before their first act of infidelity. In one particular instance, Marianne’s utter selfishness leaves one dumbfounded, waiting for her to recant her decision as she chooses her selfish and adulterous desires over the well-being of her ten year old daughter. However, what resounds loud and clear is the utter loneliness, regret, loss of trust, guilt, and pain that comes with adultery and divorce. Only one of the characters seems to express regret for their role in the triangle. Two graphic sex scenes occur, one with full male and female nudity. Other sexual encounters are implied, and Marianne gives a graphic description of one encounter. Subtitles for this Swedish language film reveal three f-words, two s-words, several regular profanities and mild crudities. Although it portrays adultery in a negative light, the graphic sexual content and foul language mar this interesting character study.

Preview Reviewer: John Adair
MGM/UA Distribution, 2500 Broadway St., Santa Monica, CA 90404-3061

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Several (5) times – All Mild

Obscene Language: Several (5) times - F-word 3, s-word 2

Profanity: Several (5) times – Regular (G 2, C 1, For G sake 1, For C sake 1)

Violence: Few times – Mild and Moderate (man forces woman on to bed, woman/ man hit, woman pushed)

Sex: Several times –Implied and Graphic (Two implied scenes with unmarried couple waking up together, graphic between husband and wife without nudity, graphic between unmarried couple with full frontal nudity)

Nudity: Once (full male and female nudity in sex scene); Near Nudity – Once (man wearing bed sheet)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Many times (man propositions woman, adulterous couple plans to run off together, woman talks about couple’s sex life, woman jokingly tells boyfriend to pay her for sex, man asks woman about previous sexual encounters/ sexual fulfillment, woman graphically describes sexual encounter)

Drugs: Few times - alcoholic drinks

Other: Clearly portrays emotional effects of both divorce and addictive nature of adultery; people try to rationalize adultery by blaming moral indoctrination; woman admits to abortion

Running Time: 142 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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