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 »
Based solely on a tea leaf reading, superstitious and introspective Kay believes she and Louis are destined to fall in love with each other, he who she is able to convince of the same ... See full summary »
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
Jane Campion's "An Angel at My Table" is a superbly competent biography of New Zealand writer Janet Frame. Frame, who suffered the death of two siblings as a child, was wrongly diagnosed as mentally ill. She was institutionalised for eight years and received over two hundred shock therapy treatments. Sharing like themes with "Sweetie" (Campion's first feature which I highly recommend), both films deal with emotionally driven misfits. I admire the fundamental narrative, as oppose to the oversentimental maudliness of a televised mini-series. In fact, the American theatrical version is an editing of such programming. I would have preferred seeing the longer version, because some parts are brief and required further explanation. Kerry Fox is magnificently capital as the older Frame. I did not realise, until an IMBD inquiry, she was the female lead in "Shallow Grave". Overall, Frame's life is compelling drama and Campion's portrayal is intelligent. 3 out of 4 stars.
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