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Pretty good job on a classic; Elina Löwensohn is the heart of the film.
For me, "My Antonia" is sacred ground. This film isn't perfect (especially when they try to create unnecessary romance), but often brings the novel alive in a way that doesn't really match my own imagining of it, but is powerful enough in its way. Above all, Elina Löwensohn is perfect as Antonia (if again not quite the woman I pictured, nor quite like Anna Pavelka, the real-life model). She really has a compelling energy and above all the cheerful life force that carries "Our" Antonia through so many trials. The film is necessarily a little telegraphic, given how much there is to fit in, but does a respectable job with the allotted time. But above all it is Löwensohn (who has never stopped working since, yet seems to have never broken through) who anchors the film. (Oh, and years ago my friend Endre Hules told me he was shooting a Willa Cather piecel; for some reason, I thought it was "Oh Pioneers". But here he is as Russian Peter :) ).
- Jun 10, 2020
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