Character (Karakter) (1997)
Movie InfoThe Horatio Alger impulse meets the Dickensian short-circuit in this atmospheric, Oscar-winning, character-driven 1920s drama about a would-be Dutch yuppie and his bitter, twisted father.
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Critic Reviews for Character (Karakter)
This powerful family melodrama from the Netherlands won the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar
A remarkably stylish, well-crafted film that constantly surprises on the level of cinematic creativity alone.
Very well shot, but narratively it's pretentious, wannabe Kafka, heavyhanded dreck. Not sure how it won an Oscar.
Dickensian in style, and not without a dash of Kafka, the film is beautifully shot by Rogier Stoffers and Mike van Diem's direction and screenplay are nigh perfect.
Van Diem uses cinematic technique to propel his story; he doesn't treat the story as an excuse to show off his technique
Tremendous emotional energy is brought to the screen by an excellent story and exceptionally fine performances.
Audience Reviews for Character (Karakter)
A Movie from the 1997 Toronto International Film Festival and again a awesome film from this collection. It was the 1997 Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film. One of the most powerful films I've ever seen. The film starts with a heated argument between two men, and when the elder is found dead with a knife in his chest the younger man is arrested and revealed to be his son. The story begins in flashback: the father, Dreverhaven (Jan Decleir from Antonia's Line), is a fearless Scrooge-like moneylender who has cold-heartedly built his fortune by collecting debts and foreclosing on the poor. His son, Katadreuffe (Fedja van Huet), is the offspring of a single night's passion with his housekeeper--in an interesting twist he hounds her to marry him, and she leaves with the boy to raise him on her own. When she dies, father and son become locked in a fascinating battle: as Katadreuffe finds him calling in the law, Dreverhaven buys up his debts and attempts to drive him into bankruptcy. Katadreuffe eagerly takes up every challenge his father throws at him in a perverse show of strength and filial defiance. 5 stars can only wish I could give it more.More
A real joy to see on the big screen and my favourite Dutch film. Okay, it is likely the only Dutch film that I have seen. Nonetheless, it is wonderful to see a different take on the thriller.More
Dutch movies always had intrigued me to watch them. Specially one who had win the Academy Award as Karakter. It was one of the best period movies I have seen,due to the very interesting aspects in it made it worth watching. The movie had some great moments, great visual impact and also a big narrative content, which revealed the mystery of the whole movie.
The performances in this movie were amazing, I knew some of them being great actors in The Netherlands. The movie image was also beautiful, Rotterdam in the early years. Amazing movie, a story full of feelings.
Character (Karakter) Quotes
- Jakob Willem Katadreuffe:
- Today I have been made a lawyer. You no longer exist for me! You have worked against me all my life!
- Or for you.
- De Gankelaar:
- Who taught you that senseless self-chastisement? I give you the money and you take it! People who can't accept a gift have nothing to give themselves."
- Joba Katadreuffe:
- Why don't you leave our boy in peace?
- I'll strangle him for nine-tenths, and the last tenth will make him strong."
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