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An Angel at My Table (1990)

R  |   |  Biography, Drama  |  20 September 1990 (Australia)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 4,752 users  
Reviews: 19 user | 35 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 »



(autobiographical books "To the Is-Land", "An Angel at My Table" and "The Envoy from Mirror City"), (screenplay)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Alexia Keogh ...
Karen Fergusson ...
Iris Churn ...
Jessie Mune ...
Baby Janet
Francesca Collins ...
Baby Jane
Melina Bernecker ...
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


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


Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sensuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| |



Release Date:

20 September 1990 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Un ange à ma table  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$1,100,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Kerry Fox gained two stones (12,7kg) 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 »


Edited from An Angel at My Table (1990) See more »


Excerpt from "September 1, 1939"
"In Memory of W.B. Yeats"
Written by W.H. Auden
See more »

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User Reviews

A fine profile of a courageous woman
2 December 2000 | by (Greenville, Ohio) – See all my reviews

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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