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I know everyone comes into a film like this with their own life experiences. For some people, they had a happy childhood with no complaints, and this will all sound very foreign and probably overly dramatic. Other people had varying degrees of unhappiness in their childhood, and for those people Autumn Sonata will either hold up as a mirror to conversations they've had with their own parents, or resemble something they wish they could discuss.
Autumn Sonata is the confrontation between a daughter and her mother. It's raw, inconsistent in the way real people are inconsistent, and shakes with bristling questions that go unanswered.
And the movie creaks under the weight. At least for me, having heard these conversations between my father and his parents, everything here is painfully realistic. Or, the beginnings of something painfully realistic. These are good stepping-stone conversations. Essential conversations to rebuilding a relationship.
But what the film misses is a chance to explore the mother character much more deeply. She touches a bit on her childhood, and it sounds much like you'd expect based on her parenting style. (Or lackthereof, if you will.) But these dysfunctional issues flow pretty specifically from generation to generation. After all, if you grow up in a specific family dynamic, that is often your default reaction when placed in the parental role. (And if you're consciously trying to be not-that-parent, you might correct some issues, but not others, and go too far in correcting even other issues, creating a whole new problem.)
So what Autumn Sonata could have done to really make it a powerhouse would be to better showcase the generational links.
Regardless, this is a film that I definitely would not consider fun to watch. But it is a very good film that tackles issues I rarely seen addressed in cinema in a realistic way.