Lawrence O'Toole
November 19, 1993 at 05:00 AM EST

Patience pays royally as you watch Utz, this leisurely but oddly gripping portrait of Baron von Utz (Mueller-Stahl), a man so obsessed with his porcelain collection that he isolated himself almost completely form the rest of the world. His only real friend is another compulsive (Paul Scofield) who gathers flies. And the woman who loves Utz — his housekeeper (Brenda Fricker) — is as emotionally fixated on him as he is on his Meissen figurines. Everyone in this film, including an art dealer (Peter Riegert) who wants the prized collection, is either so self-absorbed or so focused that nobody connects, leading this orgy of separation — directed by George Sluizer (The Vanishing) — to one of the most extraordinarily startling conclusions in memory. A

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