The home of Sweden’s greatest director plays host to a filmmaking couple whose personal lives intertwine with their cinematic creations.
Tim Roth (The Hateful Eight, Luce) and Vicky Krieps (Phantom Thread) are Tony and Chris, a filmmaking couple who have arrived on the island of Fårö, off the northern tip of Gotland in the Baltic Sea, in order to work on their respective scripts. Tony is the more famous of the two, attracting an adoring audience, while Chris is more independent-minded. Their journey to the island sets up their relationship, seemingly caring with a combative competitive edge. But things become increasingly tense as the couple get used to life in their remote cottage. When Chris discusses her script idea with Tony, the film introduces a couple played by Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland, Judy and Punch) and Anders Danielsen Lie (The Worst Person in the World). What becomes clear is that, for Tony and Chris, art and life are inseparable.
Ingmar Bergman lived the final decades of his life on Fårö, shooting many of his most iconic works there (including Through a Glass Darkly, Persona and Hour of the Wolf). It’s the perfect setting for this film about filmmaking and an exploration of human affairs. When Chris tells Tony the outline to her film, she does it in the environs of Bergman’s own home. But Mia Hansen-Løve’s film, which is in turn loosely inspired by her 15-year relationship with fellow French filmmaker Olivier Assayas, is no playful cinematic exercise. Not as austere as Bergman, drawing parallels with Richard Linklater’s Before trilogy and compelling throughout, it’s an impressive and engaging work from the director of Father of My Children, Eden and Things to Come.