Antonia (Antonia's Line) (1995)
A strong-willed Dutch woman recalls her life in this uplifting picture that won the 1996 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Antonia (Willeke van Ammelrooy) is an elderly woman who wakes up one morning and realizes that this is the last day of her life. She begins to tell her story in flashback, beginning with her arrival home to the family farm after World War II with her daughter, Danielle (Els Dottermans). For the next fifty years, a variety of colorful characters come and go on the farm. Danielle becomes a painter, and decides she wants a child but no husband, so Antonia arranges the proper donation. Danielle giving birth to Therese (Veerle van Overloop), who laters has her own child, Sarah (Thyrza Ravesteijn), also without virtue of a husband. Antonia and her descendants come to symbolize the freedom of independent females, with little need for men in their lives. ~ Don Kaye, Rovi … More
No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.Login
Critic Reviews for Antonia (Antonia's Line)
Odd feminist fun.
Pleasant, if too-precious.
This is the rare film that does actually succeed in suggesting the experience of a lifetime.
Gorris has fashioned a rare and wonderful world capable of provoking both laughter and tears -- sometimes at the same time.
Even if [Gorris] is too optimistic, I am glad her movie made me feel hopeful and cheerful.
Harsh and gentle, sensual and intellectual, wise-ass and heartfelt -- it's a full package.
An amateurish, self-conscious film with a ham-fisted message.
Can women live happily without men? This is the question posed by the Dutch director Marleen Gorris in her idealized feminist fairytale about one independently minded woman and her family.
A wonderfully eccentric film about the high value of feminine friendship, independence, intuition, and solidarity.
If only Gorris ... had pandered less to her audience.
A one sided view of life that makes the men in the audience want to leave in the dark by the side exit of the theater before the lights go up in fear that one of the women will cry out, 'there goes one of them, get him'.
An episodic, sketchy comedy-drama that reaches for the stars... but settles for the balcony.
Here is female empowerment as you've never seen it on screen before, with the narrative daring to make no compromises at all.
A little movie with an enormous heart.
The winning charm of the lead characters and their glorious triumph over convention conspire to weave a magical movie.
Audience Reviews for Antonia (Antonia's Line)
Antonia's Line is a quirky and whimsical story of Antonia with themes on love, family, and community that also gently explores topics on feminism and independence. Emotionally engaging, pleasant, and precious masterpiece. Remarkable.More
A woman recalls her entire adult life on her deathbed.
This film is way too expository, relying almost solely on narration to tell the story. It's not really a film because it uses almost none of the elements inherent to film; rather, it's a short novel with pictures and actors.
A perfect example of the film's flaws is the impact of the second rape scene. Out of the blue, we hear that a character has been raped, and then we see Antonia's response to it, taking a gun and kicking the rapist out of town. But this sequence, ripe with emotional resonance, has almost no impact on the audience because there wasn't an adequate set-up, so that we can feel suspense and fear for the victim, and there wasn't any visual, graphic or implied, that allowed us to see the result of the crime. The sequence becomes mere Cliff's Notes, and the same problem pervades the entire film.
And the titular character is almost a minor role. I'm surprised that the film didn't center around her and the other interesting character, "Crooked Finger," more.
Overall, Antonia's Line is like the connective tissue of a Victorian novel, over-narrated, maudlin, and unspecific.
Discuss Antonia (Antonia's Line) on our Movie forum!