Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Antonia’s Line

(Dutch, 1995)

Best Foreign Language Film 1995.

This is one of our favorite movies. We watched it again, and it was even better than we remembered. There’s not a lot I can say about it. A woman and her daughter return to the mother’s village in Holland right after the war. There are births, there are a lot of deaths. Bad things happen, good things happen. We continue right into the modern day, to the end of Antonia’s life.

A movie like this stands or falls on the writing, and on the performances, and both are excellent here. Somebody used the term “magical realism.” You aren’t expected to believe everything you see, though the movie is deeply grounded in the real world. Amelie is such a picture, and so is Like Water For Chocolate. You either like this sort of thing or you don’t, so take your pick.