“Fanny and Alexander,” by Ingmar Bergman

The 5-hour version of Fanny and Alexander, not the meagre 3-hour theatrical cut. It’s a “slow paced human drama told with an artisan’s voice,” one that isn’t depressing or disturbing — which is a welcomed change for an Ingmar Bergman film.

The story focuses on the lives of a large affluent family in Sweden, particularly the pains and joys of two children in the family. It’s strange, funny, surreal at times, philosophical here and there, entertaining and compelling. (The opening sequence in the trailer is a bit slow, but things pick up once all the characters are introduced.) Definitely one of Bergman’s happier films and one of the few Xmas-time movies I enjoy watching this time of year.