Review: ‘Antonia’s Line’

Marleen Gorris' idealized perspective on an independent-minded woman who comes to live in a small Dutch farming community, Antonia's Line, is a feel-good fairy tale that will appeal to many women.

Marleen Gorris’ idealized perspective on an independent-minded woman who comes to live in a small Dutch farming community, Antonia’s Line, is a feel-good fairy tale that will appeal to many women.

Antonia (Willeke van Ammelrooy) is a very old lady when pic opens, and she knows it is the last day of her life by a kind of magic realism that pops up sporadically throughout the film. A long flashback begins at the end of the war, when she and her teenage daughter, Danielle (Els Dottermans), return to the farm town where Antonia – now a stocky, attractive matron of 40 – was born.

Willy Stassen’s sensuous camerawork depicts the idyllic Dutch farm country as a lush natural paradise. In the same spirit, Gorris narrates the lives of five generations of women who work, have kids and bond with each other and some of the more decent males in the vicinity, as season follows season in a natural rhythm of birth and death.

In Antonia’s magical kingdom, no woman ever makes a false step – which puts much of the story squarely in the wishful-thinking category. In the title role, Van Ammelrooy provides a strong center to the rambling story, both feminine and authoritative.

1995: Best Foreign Language Film

Antonia's Line

Belgium - UK - Netherlands

Production

Director Marleen Gorris; Producer Hans De Weers; Writer Marleen Gorris; Camera Willy Stassen Editor Michiel Reichwein, Wim Louwrier; Music Ilona Seckaz Art Harry Ammerlaan

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1995. Running time: 93 MIN.

With

Willeke Van Ammelrooy Els Dottermans Jan Decleir Marina De Graaf Mil Seghers Jan Steen
Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading