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Character (1997)

Karakter (original title)
Jacob Katadreuffe lives mute with his mother, has no contact with his father who only works against him and wants to become a lawyer, at all costs.

Director:

Mike van Diem

Writers:

Ferdinand Bordewijk (short story "Dreverhaven en Katadreuffe" and novel "Karakter") (as F. Bordewijk), Laurens Geels (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 17 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jan Decleir ... Dreverhaven
Fedja van Huêt ... Katadreuffe
Betty Schuurman Betty Schuurman ... Joba
Tamar van den Dop Tamar van den Dop ... Lorna Te George
Victor Löw ... De Gankelaar
Hans Kesting Hans Kesting ... Jan Maan
Lou Landré Lou Landré ... Rentenstein
Bernard Droog Bernard Droog ... Stroomkoning
Frans Vorstman Frans Vorstman ... Inspecteur de Bree
Fred Goessens Fred Goessens ... Schuwagt
Jasper Gottlieb Jasper Gottlieb ... Jacob 6 jaar
Marius Gottlieb Marius Gottlieb ... Jacob 6 jaar
Pavlik Jansen op de Haar Pavlik Jansen op de Haar ... Jacob 12 jaar
Marisa Van Eyle Marisa Van Eyle ... Jiffrouw Sibculo
Wim Van Der Grijn Wim Van Der Grijn ... 2e Inspecteur
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Storyline

In the 20's, in Netherlands, Jacob Willem Katadreuffe has just concluded the law school and has an argument with the High Court Enforcement Officer Dreverhaven at his office. Katadreuffe leaves the place covered in blood. On the next morning, he is arrested by the police for the murder of Dreverhaven. He claims that he is innocent and discloses the story of his life to the Chief of Police. His mother Joba was the maid at Dreverhaven. One night, she is raped by him and a couple of weeks later she learns that she is pregnant. Dreverhaven proposes to marry her but Joba quits her job and leaves his house. Along the years, Katadreuffe is bullied at school and called bastard by his mates and his mother never talks to him. One day, he is involved by other kids in a theft of bread and arrested by the police. When he calls his biological father to help him, Dreverhaven tells the police that he does not know who Katadreuffe is. The boy is intelligent and learns English reading a superseded and ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Sony Pictures Classics

Country:

Netherlands | Belgium

Language:

Dutch | English | German | French

Release Date:

27 March 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Character See more »

Filming Locations:

Netherlands See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$37,268, 29 March 1998, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$713,413, 7 June 1998
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Goofs

In one of the street scenes, you can see an extra in modern outfit and with no headwear on. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Jacob Katadreuffe: I came to tell you. Today I have been sworn in as a lawyer. You must be sorry but I am sworn in and this is the last time I'll come here. Farewell for ever. You no longer exist for me.
Dreverhaven: Congratulations.
Jacob Katadreuffe: You congratulate me? I can't take your hand. The hand of someone who always opposed me.
Dreverhaven: Or helped.
[pause]
Dreverhaven: Or helped.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A very good film!
11 November 2000 | by BermudezLievanoSee all my reviews

Character is one of the best period films I have ever seen, and the enormous quantity of very interesting aspects in it make it worth watching.

I saw this film with the natural curiosity that a best foreign film Academy Award arouses in many people, and I was really delighted and surprised (Altough, I must admit I had hoped Spain's Secrets of the Heart would win). The story is quite beautiful, and Mike van Diem created a very solid screen play based on well known Ferdinand Bordewijk's novel.

The film has some extraordinary moments; I must say that the one that impressed me most was the final scene of the film, a scene of great visual impact and also of an incredibly big narrative content; it is the scene that reveals the mystery behind the cruel A.B. Dreverhaven's behaviour.

The performances given out in this film are simply spectacular especially Jan Decleir's as Dreverhaven. I also think Betty Schuurman as Jacob's mother and Victor Löw as De Gankelaar are terrific. One more thing, the art design is beautiful; the image the film gives us of the 1930's Amsterdam is very powerful and very beautiful.

Not only is it a great film then, but it is a story that carries a lot of feelings, and will take you on quiet an emotional ride. I can only say this: enjoy it!


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