THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT Copyright (c) 1996, Landmark Communications, Inc. DATE: Thursday, June 27, 1996 TAG: 9606270024 SECTION: DAILY BREAK PAGE: E5 EDITION: FINAL TYPE: Movie review SOURCE: BY MAL VINCENT, MOVIE CRITIC LENGTH: 45 lines
THIS YEAR'S Academy Award winner as Best Foreign Language Film is a so-called ``feminist fable'' from the Netherlands that ultimately evolves into a familial epic covering three generations of independent women. It is fine storytelling.
The central character, Antonia, returns, after 16 years, to the Dutch village of her childhood and decides to stay. The setting is just after World War II, and the years that follow. On the farm she manages, she raises her daughter, Danielle, and proves to be an independent and strong force. She is quite clear about her lack of need for men but the film, refreshingly, resists becoming the male-bashing screamer that we got from some Hollywood entries.
Antonia, played with statuesque dignity by Willeke van Ammelrooy, is a thinking person's Auntie Mame, welcoming all the village misfits to her country retreat. Among them are Crooked Finger, the resident philosopher; Loony Lips, the village simpleton; DeeDee, a retarded girl; and Mad Madonna, a woman who howls at the moon. The film treats them with a levity that is free of sensationalism.
Antonia becomes a grandmother and a great grandmother as the film, written and directed by Marleen Gorris, evolves to epic proportions. It has a good deal to say about life and the hypocrites that try to get in its way. Antonia, and her line of descendants, are women of decision. ILLUSTRATION: Photo
FIRST LOOK PICTURES
Willeke van Ammelrooy stars in ``Antonia's Line.''
Cast: Willeke van Ammelrooy, Els Dottermans, Mil Seghers
MPAA rating: Not rated (but would probably be an R, for nudity
Mal's rating: Three stars
Locations: Lynnhaven Mall in Virginia Beach, starting Friday at
the Naro in Norfolk by CNB