EW Staff
October 11, 1996 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Winner of this year’s Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, this Dutch import — about a woman (Willeke Van Ammelrooy) who stands up to men, exposes hypocrisy, nurtures the unwanted, and raises a brilliant child and grandchild while running a farm (whew!) — initially flows with an easygoing charm. But Antonia’s Line has a cycle-of-life theme that gets monotonous (ditto ”colorful” characters with names like Mad Madonna and Loony Lips), and Antonia finally seems less like a human being than a plaster saint. It’s a flaw that makes the story, noble as it is, precious. Even in video’s cozy confines, the movie feels distant. B-

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