Character (Karakter) (1997)

Character (Karakter) (1997)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Character (Karakter) Photos

Movie Info

The 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.
R (for violence)
Art House & International , Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Sony Pictures Classics


Fedja van Huêt
as Katadreuffe
Jan Decleir
as Dreverhaven
Victor Löw
as De Gankelaar
Tamar van den Dop
as Lorna Te George
Hans Kesting
as Jan Maan
Lou Landré
as Retenstein
Bernhard Droog
as Stroomkoning
Frans Vorstman
as De Bree
Fred Goessens
as Schuwagt
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Character (Karakter)

All Critics (25) | Top Critics (6)

This powerful family melodrama from the Netherlands won the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar

Full Review… | August 14, 2011

A remarkably stylish, well-crafted film that constantly surprises on the level of cinematic creativity alone.

Full Review… | June 27, 2007
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Predictable and dreadfully misconceived.

Full Review… | January 5, 2007
Film Journal International

Very well shot, but narratively it's pretentious, wannabe Kafka, heavyhanded dreck. Not sure how it won an Oscar.

September 17, 2005

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.

September 11, 2005
New York Theatre Wire

Van Diem uses cinematic technique to propel his story; he doesn't treat the story as an excuse to show off his technique

July 31, 2002
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

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.

Bruce Bruce
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

I decided to rent a Dutch movie so I could hear Dutch for 2 hours. The movie is called Character. (Karakter) And it's about this guy Jacob Katadreuffe, who is accused of murder in the 1920s. The man he is accused of murdering is his father A.B. Drevenhaven. Both of these names are so Dutch! Anyway since I only know cute lovey words in Dutch I didn't recognize any words. Because no one was remotely nice to eachother in this movie. Jacob's Mom never speaks to him. She just stares at him and cooks him food. His Dad treats him like crap and tries to bankrupt him for years. Jacob is miserable he has no friends and no job. But one day he is summoned to this lawyer place and decides to beg for a job. They say "No" at first, but when he was young he taught himself English, so he speaks it to someone in the office and they give him the job. He does not speak English ever again in the movie though. There's also a romance, with no kissing and with well no romance. They just give eachother looks and then she marries someone else. His Mom in a touching scene later tells jacob that he was being an "ass". Anyway it's a pretty agonizing movie. It apparently won best foreign Lauguage film in 1997. I had never heard of it. The lead actor kind of reminded me of the singer from Placebo. hehe Anyway here are some pictures so you can compare. Or possible Vincent Perez? [img][/img] [img][/img] [img][/img]

Laura Leydes
Laura Leydes

Image and video hosting by TinyPic 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.

Daisy  Maduro
Daisy Maduro

Super Reviewer

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