Antonia (Antonia's Line) (1995) - Rotten Tomatoes

Antonia (Antonia's Line) (1995)



Critic Consensus: Magical and morbid, Antonia picturesque landscapes and proficient performances elevate a somewhat pedestrian parable.

Antonia (Antonia's Line) Photos

Movie Info

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.

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Jan Decleir
as Boer Bas
Mil Seghers
as Crooked Finger
Jan Steen
as Loony Lips
Hans Kesting
as Blacksmith
as Veerle Van Overloop
Jakob Beks
as Farmer Daan
Flip Filz
as The Curate
Pieter Callens
as Farmer Bas's Other Child
Daniel Dailly
as Farmer Bas's Other Child
Margo Dames
as Thérèse
Paul Kooij
as The Protestant
Leo Hogenboom
as The Village Priest
Sarah De Ceuleer
as Letta's Other Child
Christophe De Laere
as Letta's Other Child
Esther Vriesendorp
as Therese (age 13)
Carolien Spoor
as Therese (age 6)
Jenne Decleir
as Farmer Bas's Other Child
Ilse Dense
as Letta's Other Child
Petra Laseur
as Mother Theodora
Christophe Horemans
as Farmer Bas's Other Child
Hans Man in't Veld
as The Professor
Jeroen Huysmans
as Letta's Other Child
Paul R. Kooij
as Protestant
Barbara Maes
as Letta's Other Child
Igor Corbeau
as Simon (age 13)
Carlo Van Dam
as Simon (age 6)
Tamara Maes
as Letta's Other Child
Gabriella Martinson
as Letta's Other Child
Cederic Missine
as Muisje's Child
Kristel Olejniejoh
as Letta's Other Child
Charlène Pottevin
as Deedee's Child
Eddy Praet
as Farmer Bas's Other Child
Stijn Rabaey
as Muisje's Child
Gilles Robertino
as Letta's Other Child
Antoon Schotsaert
as Farmer Bas's Other Child
Manon Sodderland
as Picture of Maria
Jesse Tomballe
as Letta's Other Child
Menno Tomballe
as Letta's Other Child
Adriaan Van Den Hoof
as Farmer Bas's Other Child
Gilles Van Durme
as Letta's Other Child
Daisy Van Laer
as Letta's Other Child
Dorien Van Laer
as Letta's Other Child
Tine Vanhoucke
as Muisje's Child
Aurelie Verstraeten
as Letta's Other Child
Jascha Vervoort
as Farmer Bas's Other Child
Nicky Wolfs
as Letta's Other Child
Gosewijn Zwanikken
as Picture of Jesus
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Critic Reviews for Antonia (Antonia's Line)

All Critics (50) | Top Critics (23)

It's a broad historical saga of great warmth, but it would have been more convincing if it didn't have "feminist agenda" stamped all over it.

November 28, 2017 | Full Review…

Antonia is a work of rare lyricism. It glows with the light of a Flemish painting and the spirit of magic realism.

October 4, 2016 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Antonia's Line is enjoyable because it is never preachy. It depicts, with a painterly eye, a pagan world that has not changed since Breughel.

October 4, 2016 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

The performances are modest and appealing. In the title role, Van Ammelrooy projects a remarkable combination of optimism, strength and resignation.

October 4, 2016 | Rating: 4/5

It glides so easily over a multitude of events and characters that we're never jarred; Antonia and Bas make a winning alternative-community grandma and grandpa.

October 4, 2016 | Rating: 3/4

I didn't much take to this humorless, Oscar-winning 1995 feminist fable.

October 4, 2016 | Full Review…

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.

Jan Marc Macababayao
Jan Marc Macababayao

Super Reviewer

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.

Jim Hunter
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

One of the most wonderful generational pictures that I have been witness to. Not just a "womens' film"

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

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