Time: 70 mins.
Rating: Not Rated
Academy Award nominations for Best Cinematography and Best Score.
I was not a huge fan of Ingrid Bergman until recently. After watching a number of her early films, I'm beginning to truly appreciate her talent. INTERMEZZO is her English speaking debut and she's wonderful in it. Even at the age of 24, there's something about her that's mesmerizing. How she manages to make this overcooked melodrama watchable is a tribute to her depth as an actress. She's the only reason to sit through this trite and ridiculous romance. She's radiant, intelligent, funny and makes you believe that Leslie Howard is sexy and interesting. Not an easy task. Yes, his character is a very talented musician and we're all familiar with the model/rock star thing, but still...the fact that a young woman with her obvious assets would actually fall in love with someone like him is pretty hard to swallow. That you're happy she's found love, a miracle. Which is not to say that Howard is unattractive or untalented, he's just lacks the sex appeal of a Grant or Gable.
There's not much to the story of INTERMEZZO. Leslie Howard is a world-famous violinist with a wife and family who stay at home while he tours the world. Upon his most recent return, he is introduced to his 6-year-old daughter's piano teacher, played by Bergman. He thinks nothing of her until she plays at his daughter's birthday party. Her talent and beauty take him by surprise. He falls for her completely after a night at the symphony where they accidently meet. After some champagne and a long walk, it's obvious there's more between them then mere friendship. For less than admirable reasons, he invites her to be the accompanist on his upcoming tour. She doesn't want to give up her studies, but her heart won't allow her to say no. They try to keep their affair quiet, but when she resigns and attempts to leave town, his wife knows all to well why. They leave on tour together, despite the familial repercussions. They have great success, but it's apparent their stolen love can't last forever. They part as they must, but tragedy follows him on his road to redemption.