12 Must-Watch Movies Similar to Fanny and Alexander

Fanny and Alexander takes you on a captivating journey through the joys and sorrows of a Swedish theatrical family in the early 1900s. If you're in the mood for more mesmerizing dramas that delve into the complexities of life, love, and family dynamics, we've got you covered. Check out these 12 must-watch movies that capture the same enchanting essence as Fanny and Alexander.

1) Chinatown

Chinatown is reminiscent of Fanny and Alexander, as both films delve into the dark underbelly of seemingly idyllic worlds. While Fanny and Alexander explores the complexities of a theatrical family in early 20th century Sweden, Chinatown takes us on a journey through the corrupt and treacherous world of 1930s Los Angeles. Both films are masterfully crafted, with stunning cinematography and exceptional acting. Sven Nykvist's cinematography in Fanny and Alexander is nothing short of masterful, while Roman Polanski's attention to detail in Chinatown, from the golden-hued visuals to the subtle echoes throughout the film, is truly remarkable. However, where Fanny and Alexander is a poetic and sometimes funny exploration of family, Chinatown is a gripping mystery-thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat. If you enjoyed the atmospheric beauty of Fanny and Alexander and are looking for a thrilling noir experience, Chinatown is a must-watch.

Release date: August, 1976
IMDB Rating: 8.2
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2) Welcome Home Brother Charles

Welcome Home Brother Charles is a wild ride of a movie that shares some similarities with Fanny and Alexander. While Fanny and Alexander takes us on a journey through the joys and sorrows of a Swedish theatrical family, Welcome Home Brother Charles takes a more unconventional route. It tells the story of a wrongfully imprisoned black man seeking revenge on those who wronged him, using the power of his newly sentient penis (yes, you read that right). The similarities lie in their exploration of themes such as domestic violence and the impact of societal norms on individuals. However, the execution couldn't be more different. While Fanny and Alexander is a beautifully crafted drama, Welcome Home Brother Charles embraces the absurdity and pushes the boundaries of what is considered acceptable in cinema. It's a bizarre and entertaining experience that will leave you questioning how such a movie even exists. So, if you're up for a cinematic adventure that is equal parts shocking and hilarious, Welcome Home Brother Charles is the movie for you.

Release date: November, 1975
IMDB Rating: 4.8

3) Bhumika

Bhumika: The Role is a captivating film that draws similarities to Fanny and Alexander. Both movies are set in different time periods (the 1900s in Sweden and the 1930s in Bombay) and revolve around the lives of two strong-willed protagonists. While Fanny and Alexander portrays the joys and sorrows of a theatrical family, Bhumika delves into the life of an actress in the burgeoning show business industry. Both films offer a deep exploration of the main characters' struggles and desires for freedom. Bhumika: The Role, like Fanny and Alexander, showcases exceptional cinematography and brilliant performances. The absence of a background score in Bhumika adds to the raw and gritty nature of the scenes, while Smita Patil's tour-de-force performance as Urvashi shines brightly. Patil effortlessly portrays the complexities of her character, just as the entire cast in Fanny and Alexander delivers superb acting.

Release date: November, 1977
IMDB Rating: 7.4

4) Out of the Blue

Out of the Blue: A young girl, whose father is an ex-convict and whose mother is a junkie, finds it difficult to conform and tries to find comfort in a quirky combination of Elvis and the punk scene. Directed by actor Dennis Hopper, this very confronting and symbolic oddball minor art house drama explores the punk rock scene through the eyes of a wayward teenage girl. Linda Manz delivers a raw and lasting performance, using music and the punk scene as an escape from her troubled home life. The film takes us on a well-rounded journey, depicting seedy situations and a sense of place, never shying away from the harsh realities. The dialogues have a natural attitude and the cast's chemistry adds an authentic touch. With a style reminiscent of Hopper's benchmark "Easy Riders," Out of the Blue features an excellent old school soundtrack that perfectly complements its igniting tones.

Release date: April, 1982
IMDB Rating: 7.2

5) Raging Bull

If you enjoyed Fanny and Alexander, you'll definitely want to check out Raging Bull. Although they may seem like polar opposites at first glance, these two films share a common thread: the exploration of domestic violence and its impact on the characters' lives. While Fanny and Alexander takes us on a journey through a theatrical family in early 1900s Sweden, Raging Bull delves into the life of boxer Jake LaMotta and the destructive force of his violence and temper. Both films showcase the devastating effects of these issues, albeit in different contexts and time periods. Fanny and Alexander offers a poetic and visually striking portrayal of a family's struggles, while Raging Bull provides a raw and intense character study of a near-psychotic pugilist. While the former focuses on the intricacies of marriage and the repercussions of austerity, the latter immerses us in the world of a dysfunctional family and the jealousies that tear them apart.

Release date: December, 1980
IMDB Rating: 8.1
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6) Urban Cowboy

Urban Cowboy takes us back to the 1980s, when John Travolta was at the height of his stardom. Just like Fanny and Alexander, this film captures a specific time and place, but instead of a theatrical family in Sweden, we are transported to Houston, Texas. While Fanny and Alexander explores the complexities of domestic life and the tragedies that can unfold within a family, Urban Cowboy delves into the world of cowboys and the class differences that exist in a bustling city. Both films touch on themes of domestic violence, but in very different ways. Fanny and Alexander presents it as a dark undercurrent within a family, while Urban Cowboy depicts it more explicitly. The charm of Urban Cowboy lies in its portrayal of Bud, a young man from the country who learns about life and love in a Houston bar. It may not have the cinematic poetry of Fanny and Alexander, but it offers a glimpse into a distinct moment in American culture.

Release date: June, 1980
IMDB Rating: 6.4

7) Bez svideteley

Bez svideteley is a film that takes place entirely within the confines of an apartment, much like Fanny and Alexander. However, while Fanny and Alexander explores the complexities of a lively and affectionate theatrical family, Bez svideteley focuses on the intense dynamics between a divorced couple. The film's two actors deliver a tour de force performance, as they pit themselves against each other and their own emotions. Unlike Fanny and Alexander, Bez svideteley is set in then-present day, allowing the audience to witness a deep and complex story unfold in real time. The film's beautiful art design and colors add to its visual appeal, while the script keeps viewers engaged as they unravel the clues left by the characters. Bez svideteley is a testament to director Nikita Mikhalkov's brilliant vision, showcasing his ability to create an unorthodox and unforgettable cinematic experience.

Release date: July, 1983
IMDB Rating: 7.4

8) To Sleep with Anger

"To Sleep with Anger" is a film that effortlessly captures the essence of a quiet family drama. It may not be what you expect from the title or the smirking Danny Glover photo, but it's a hidden gem worth watching. Just like "Fanny and Alexander," the story revolves around a family, although set in a completely different time period and country. While "Fanny and Alexander" explores the many comedies and tragedies of a Swedish theatrical family, "To Sleep with Anger" focuses on a mild-mannered family disrupted by the arrival of a charismatic old acquaintance. Both films delve into the complexities of family dynamics, but "To Sleep with Anger" does so in a more intimate and personal way. It doesn't aim to make grand statements about race or society, but rather offers a warm and slightly worn portrayal of everyday life.

Release date: October, 1990
IMDB Rating: 7.2

9) Not Without My Daughter

Not Without My Daughter is reminiscent of Fanny and Alexander, as both movies explore the theme of domestic violence. While Fanny and Alexander delves into the complexities of a theatrical family in 1900s Sweden, Not Without My Daughter tells the gripping story of an American woman trapped in Islamic Iran by her brutal husband. Both films shed light on the struggles faced by their respective protagonists, but in different cultural contexts. Fanny and Alexander takes place in a more affluent society, while Not Without My Daughter delves into the challenges of living under a repressive regime. Despite their differences, both movies offer powerful performances and thought-provoking narratives that captivate audiences. So, if you enjoyed the exploration of domestic violence in Fanny and Alexander, you should definitely give Not Without My Daughter a watch.

Release date: January, 1991
IMDB Rating: 6.4

10) Cries & Whispers

Cries & Whispers is reminiscent of Fanny and Alexander in its exploration of family dynamics and the human experience. Both movies are set in Sweden and delve into the complexities of relationships and emotions within a family. While Fanny and Alexander takes place in the 1900s and focuses on the Ekdahl family, Cries & Whispers is set in the early twentieth century and revolves around three sisters. Both films highlight the struggles of the characters and their inability to effectively communicate with each other. Cries & Whispers, like Fanny and Alexander, showcases the masterful direction of Ingmar Bergman and features remarkable performances from the cast. While Fanny and Alexander is a chronicle of a lively and affectionate theatrical family, Cries & Whispers delves into the emotional turmoil and repressed feelings of the sisters. The films share a common theme of introspection and introspection and offer a poignant portrayal of human existence.

Release date: June, 1974
IMDB Rating: 8

11) Autumn Sonata

Autumn Sonata is reminiscent of Fanny and Alexander, both directed by the brilliant Ingmar Bergman. While Fanny and Alexander takes us on a journey through the joys and sorrows of a lively Swedish theatrical family in the 1900s, Autumn Sonata delves into the complex dynamics of a mother-daughter relationship. In both films, we witness the consequences of neglect, the weight of resentment, and the power of regret. The cinematography, as expected from Bergman, is masterful, capturing every emotion and subtlety with precision. The acting in both movies is outstanding, with Bertil Guve and Pernilla Allwin delivering flawless performances in Fanny and Alexander, and Ingrid Bergman and Liv Ullmann leaving us in awe with their intensity in Autumn Sonata. While Fanny and Alexander showcases the grandeur of a large family, Autumn Sonata focuses on the intimate struggle between two individuals.

Release date: September, 1979
IMDB Rating: 8.1
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12) Scenes from a Marriage

Scenes from a Marriage, like Fanny and Alexander, is another brilliant film by Ingmar Bergman. While Fanny and Alexander takes us into the world of a lively and affectionate theatrical family in the 1900s, Scenes from a Marriage delves into the complexities of a long-term relationship between Marianne and Johan. Both movies are intense dramas that explore the highs and lows of marriage, but they do so in different ways. Fanny and Alexander is a sweeping epic that portrays the joys and tragedies of a family, while Scenes from a Marriage focuses on the intimate and emotional struggles of a couple. While Fanny and Alexander is filled with striking visuals and a poetic script, Scenes from a Marriage relies heavily on slow, dialogue-heavy scenes that may not be everyone's cup of tea. Nevertheless, Liv Ullmann's performance in Scenes from a Marriage is outstanding and worth watching alone.

Release date: October, 1974
IMDB Rating: 8.3

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