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Antonia's Line (1995)

Antonia (original title)
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A Dutch matron establishes and, for several generations, oversees a close-knit, matriarchal community where feminism and liberalism thrive.


Marleen Gorris


Marleen Gorris
Won 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Willeke van Ammelrooy ... Antonia
Els Dottermans Els Dottermans ... Danielle
Dora van der Groen Dora van der Groen ... Allegonde
Veerle van Overloop Veerle van Overloop ... Thérèse
Esther Vriesendorp Esther Vriesendorp ... Thérèse (13)
Carolien Spoor ... Thérèse (6)
Thyrza Ravesteijn Thyrza Ravesteijn ... Sarah
Mil Seghers Mil Seghers ... Kromme Vinger (Crooked Finger)
Jan Decleir ... Boer Bas
Elsie de Brauw Elsie de Brauw ... Lara
Reinout Bussemaker Reinout Bussemaker ... Simon
Marina de Graaf Marina de Graaf ... Deedee
Jan Steen Jan Steen ... Lippen Willem (Loony Lips)
Catherine ten Bruggencate Catherine ten Bruggencate ... Malle Madonna (Mad Madonna)
Paul Kooij Paul Kooij ... Protestant


In an anonymous Dutch village, a sturdy, strong-willed matriarch looks back upon her life, the generations of family and friends gathered around her table, and ponders the cyclical nature of time. Written by Dawn M. Barclift

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A motion picture that celebrates everything you love about life.


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content, and for some violence, including a rape scene | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »



Netherlands | Belgium | UK | France



Release Date:

2 February 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Antonia's Line See more »

Filming Locations:

Neuville-aux-Tourneurs, Belgium See more »


Box Office


£1,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Kromme Vinger (Crooked Finger): Imagine moving to another time scale, so that a life-span of 80 years would be over in 29 days or last 80,000 years. Time...
Thérèse (6): But what about time? Did we invent time?
Kromme Vinger (Crooked Finger): We made it up.
Thérèse (6): Perhaps ants live in their time...
Kromme Vinger (Crooked Finger): And crickets.
Thérèse (6): And bees.
Kromme Vinger (Crooked Finger): And butterflies.
Thérèse (6): And trees.
Kromme Vinger (Crooked Finger): And stars.
Thérèse (6): And the moon!
See more »


Referenced in De slimste mens ter wereld: Episode #9.19 (2017) See more »


My Blue Heaven
Written by George Whiting and Walter Donaldson
Performed by Dora van der Groen and Centrum Nieuwe Koormuziek
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User Reviews

Quirky! Excellent! See it, here's why
17 January 2000 | by moviebuffgirlSee all my reviews

Rarely does a movie embrace life as fully as "Antonia" (also known Antonia's Line). It was the deserving winner of the Academy Award for best foreign film in 1995. Quirky, unexpected, funny, frightening, and ultimately beautiful, Antonia's line is a portrait of hope that successfully escapes being saccharine. There are moments of violence and despair, but beauty endures. It portrays 3 generations of independent women, and the matriarch of their unusual family, Antonia. Antonia left her small village before WWII and returns years later with her grown daughter. Antonia has an opinion on everything, and smiles as she points out the colorful village characters to her cosmopolitan artist daughter who is amused by everyone from the town busy-bodies to the tradition of drunk men peeing on the church wall. However, Antonia manages to carve out a place for herself by embracing love when she finds it, and opening her arms to the needy outcasts and oddballs that are victimized by cruel villagers.

This film also offers a wonderfully refreshing depiction of love in all shapes and sizes-- connections between mentally handicapped loners, romance between women, elderly romance. It does not sensationalize these unusual couplings, rather it highlights the giddy delight that is two human beings connecting. This is truly a movie about self-made "family," lonely souls that find each other and live together with loyalty. However, one graphic rape scene and a few other (naratively essential) scenes of violence make it inappropriate for young or sensitive children. It is overall, however, not gritty or depressing. Rather it is a portrait of hope made more real by addressing the presence of shadows.

Both "My life as a Dog" and "American Beauty" are reminiscent of the kind of beauty and humor you can expect from this film.

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