This film looks beautiful in an understated way, being shot almost entirely in a narrow range of beige tones, but with good contrast on the faces which brings out their aesthetic qualities a bit like a de la Tour painting. The focus on this is enhanced by the fact that we never see through a window, the whole film being shot in a studio in New York whereas the house is meant to be in Vermont. The exquisiteness of the lighting is complemented by the beautiful, poignant score and the beautifully-shaped screenplay which unleashes a far greater storm of emotion than appears on the surface for most of its running time. This restraint makes it all the more moving, with Mia Farrow bringing a heartfelt vulnerability to the central role, marvellously offset by the brusquely gung-ho manner of the mother, perfectly projected by Elaine Stritch. It clearly owes a lot to Bergman's Autumn Sonata, but expands the focus onto more characters and is more soft-hued in every sense, but no less moving for that. It also manages to broaden the tone to comedy as well through Elaine Stritch's character without undermining the piece's undercurrent of plangent melancholy, albeit transformed through art itself.