First of all a cautionary note: I rely a lot on Rotten Tomatoes before deciding to watch a film or not. Typically I pretty much skim and look at the critics I respect. Today I read the full New Yorker review which got a red tomato (meaning thumbs up) on Rotten. Turns out Richard Brody didn’t really like it all. Likewise additional negative or meh input from a few friends. I stand by my assessment as “fabulous” but now I’m thinking that having read the book, I filled in the gaps Brody and others, not having the benefit of reading the book, found annoying. The shift in setting from Naples to Greece which I agree was a really bad decision ) does neglect a major theme. In retrospect I can see where many might wonder why Leda is so angst-ridden. Her resentment of her children’s demands goes beyond just being tired of being on call (e.g. when she refuses to kiss her child’s injured finger). Ferrante’s Leda is a woman damaged by her own bad mother. And the film does not provide that perspective.
In reverse, based on the NYT’s recommendation and rave reviews from Rotten Tomatoes, I watched Bergman Island. I’m bewildered. Loved the beauty of Faro,Bergman’s home and enjoyed the ironic commentary on the Bergman tourism trade but did not really like the film in totality. But before I go on and on, please write in your thoughts about the film.
Recommended: Anxious People, a six episode series based on the book by Fredrik Backman, the Swedish author who wrote A Man Called Ove. Like the book it is amusing and sweet without being saccharine. Each episode is around thirty minutes.