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An Angel at My Table (1990)

7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 4,206 users  
Reviews: 19 user | 34 critic

In 1920s and 1930s New Zealand, Janet Frame grows up in a poor family with lots of brothers and sisters. Already at an early age she is different from the other kids. She gets an education ... See full summary »

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(autobiographies To the Is-Land, An Angel at My Table and The Envoy from Mirror City),
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Title: An Angel at My Table (1990)

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17 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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A collection of everyday awkward and embarrassing moments, each with an uneasy familiarity.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Alexia Keogh ...
Karen Fergusson ...
Iris Churn ...
Mother
Jessie Mune ...
Baby Janet
...
Father
Francesca Collins ...
Baby Jane
Melina Bernecker ...
Myrtle
Mark Morrison ...
Bruddie Frame as child
Katherine Murray-Cowper ...
Young Isabel
Mark Thomson ...
Billy Delaware
Brenda Kendall ...
Miss Botting
Paul Moffat ...
Dis McIvor
Blair Hutchison ...
Bully Boy
David McAuslan ...
Bully Boy
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Storyline

In 1920s and 1930s New Zealand, Janet Frame grows up in a poor family with lots of brothers and sisters. Already at an early age she is different from the other kids. She gets an education as a teacher but since she is considered abnormal she stays at a mental institution for eight years. Success comes when she starts to write novels. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sensuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

|

Release Date:

20 September 1990 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Un ange à ma table  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$1,100,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Kerry Fox gained two stone for her role as Janet Frame. She managed this by drinking liters of Coca-Cola, eating packets of chocolate biscuits and going on the pill. See more »

Connections

Featured in A Story of Children and Film (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Po Atarau
Performed by Guide Kiri's Rotorna Whaka Maori Concert
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User Reviews

Untethered Butterfly
19 December 2007 | by (Virginia Beach) – See all my reviews

Superficially, this is a sort of "My Brilliant Career," meets "A Beautiful Mind."

It features one of the most extraordinary actresses, new to me. I saw her in "Intmacy" and had to find more. It is made by a talented and sometimes engaging filmmaker who explores how women are haunted. It is about a writer whose books don't grab me, but whose story does. She believed herself haunted.

The problem is that these three songs from different souls don't overlap that much.

Frame created written images that were teased out of a struggle with life, one that infused her. Her sanity came from the writing. She didn't write about insanity and marginalization, she wrote from them to counter and co-opt them somewhat. This engages the reader because most of us are afraid to go as deeply into the darkness as these visions indicate.

That's a different thing entirely than the story Campion has chosen to give us, which is about all the external agency that surrounded her. I cannot think of an instance where the literary kite and the cinematic string are in such different dimensions. Sure, its an interesting story that someone's light survived, I suppose. But we never see that light, or the ledges that were climbed, or the images that were carried out for us.

What's left for Fox to do is emote visually. She does an extraordinary job, quite apart from the fact that it is ineffective in this container. I really do think she's something — another of those Australian/New Zealand crowd that just seem to have something that is rare elsewhere.

She and the girls who play her younger selves are redheads. That's not at all a cinematic device, though it is used cleverly to mend the three actresses. Frame actually had that Clarabelle hair.

Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.


4 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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