Antonia’s Line – 2 stars (average)
A disappointment for me. The postscript read: “Antonia’s Line, winner of the 1995 Academy Award for Best Non-English Language Film and many other prestigious international awards, is the remarkable story of a woman who rebuilds a new life with her daughter after World War II in a quiet Dutch setting. village. Earthy, sexy, romantic and full of laughter and warmth, it is a joyous celebration of several generations of simple pleasures and enduring passions.”
Shoot, sounded good to me, but it just didn’t live up to its billing. There’s a dark side to this movie that the postscript doesn’t see or mention. Yes, there is some sex, some romance, some horrific moments, some tender moments, and some multi-generational moments.
There’s also a daughter who wants (and has) a baby, but doesn’t need a husband and father for her newborn (which, I guess, proves Hollywood wasn’t the first to go here).
There are two brutal rapes of children (which, of course, adds to the wholesomeness of a wannabe family movie). There is downright cruelty mixed with all the fun and laughter. A cold-blooded murder has been committed.
But perhaps the most troubling issue is a total lack of spiritual development by everyone in this film, including a priest, who manages to have sex with a young girl in a confessional (no wonder Hollywood has given this film an Academy Award given).
The people in this movie have no faith in God, they just drive away time until their end time. Whatever your religious belief, some spiritual development is a very good idea in this world, and it is possible to have spiritual development without practicing a religion.
In the Bible, the word fool does not mean one who is stupid, but one who arranges his or her life as if there was no God.
This would make a much more meaningful film if the person who wrote the script acknowledged the existence of a force greater than the passage of time, simple pleasures, and enduring passions. Watching this movie didn’t make me a better person.
If you want to see a much better foreign film with subtitles than this Academy Award-winning film, try The Chorus (Les Chroistes in French), an absolutely fantastic film from first-time director Christophe Barratier, who has no awards to my knowledge won whatever.
The Kite – 2 stars (average)
Leonardo DiCaprio stars as Howard Hughes in a film that chronicles Hughes’s life from his arrival in Hollywood to the onset of his illness that forced him into isolation for the rest of his life.
Hughes was a billionaire who was also a great aviation visionary, and a filmmaker of some significance. His obsessive-compulsive disorder shortened his contribution to the world, but not his impact.
DeCaprio is nothing short of sensational in this acting job. He was nominated for the Oscar for Best Actor, but lost to Jamie Foxx in Ray, the story of Ray Charles. I haven’t seen Ray yet, but I don’t believe DiCaprio could have won the Oscar even if he had acted Foxx.
The reason is that The Aviator has a rough start and is not nearly as sympathetic as a film about Ray Charles, who is loved by all who have heard his music and story.
The beginning of this film shows his mother planting the seed in his mind that he will never be safe from germs, which he buys and it affects him for the rest of his natural life. Cate Blanchett won the Oscar for Supporting Actress for her role as Katharine Hepburn in the move.
The Aviator had 11 Oscar nominations and five wins, including Blanchett’s. Despite DiCaprio and Blanchett’s performances, I can’t give this film a 3, even if it’s my intention; the film was just too negative and too graphic in its presentation.
Read more of my action-adventure movie reviews, including:
“Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” met Johnny Depp als Captain Jack Sparrow
“Pirates of the Caribbean: “Dead Man’s Chest” met Johnny Depp als de perfecte piraat
“Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” met Johnny Depp
“The Departed” met megasterren Jack Nicholson, Leonardo DiCaprio en Matt Damon