|Index||6 reviews in total|
I am of the opinion that this film has an undeserved reputation as "underdeveloped." The better description of the feel of this film lies closer to "stark" or "lean" rather than "limited." I find Descending Angel better in many ways than The Music Box, which explores similar themes (although Jessica Lange and Armand Mueller Stahl are excellent in the latter film). One point of contrast that I find falls fully in Descending Angel's favor is that Roberts, unlike Lange, does not suddenly jet off to Eastern Europe in pursuit of "the truth." The chickens come home to roost messily in the United States, and give the film a nasty political edge I find compelling. I give it 8/10 for cable fare. Roberts, Lane, and Scott are enough reason to see this piece. Some of the scenes between Roberts and Scott are among the most compelling confrontations between past actions and present morals as have been filmed in the 1990s. If you liked True Colors or Storyville, you'll like this one too.
If you ignore an ending that seems both rushed and highly unlikely, "Descending Angel" is totally acceptable, with a fine George C. Scott performance. Eric Roberts is going to be marrying Scott's daughter, and the movie revolves around an uneasy meeting with his future father in-law. When Roberts suspicion begins to build that Scott was part of a WW2 massacre of Jews, his fiancé, Diane Lane, is torn between her powerful father and her love for Roberts. Although the film is not perfect, mostly because of the flawed conclusion, it is different enough to maintain interest. Recommended for fans of George C. Scott, and Eric Roberts. - MERK
I actually didn't think that "Descending Angel," a 1990 production for
HBO, was too awful, and I don't see what was historically inaccurate
about it, referring back to a review on this site.
Eric Roberts plays Michael Rossi, who wants to marry Irinia Stroia (Diane Lane). They travel to the Stroia home to meet Irinia's formidable father Florian (George C. Scott) who is prominent in the community.
It doesn't take long for Michael to be told by a survivor of a Romanian concentration camp that Florian was a Nazi collaborator, something the family denies. Disturbed, Michael investigates and learns that Florian was a member of the Iron Guard and responsible for the murders of men, women, and children. Confronted with this, Irinia is unable to accept the truth.
A review on this site said Romania was on the side of the Allies - well, that was at the end. Of all those joined with Nazi Germany, Romania was responsible for the deaths of more Jews than any country other than Germany itself. It's true that their alliance with the Allies probably did shorten the war and save many lives. The Iron Guard made the harsh anti-Semitic legislation worse and enacted legislation directed against minority businessmen.
The acting is very good, with Eric Roberts giving a passionate performance, George C. Scott is fine as the guarded and stern Stroia, and a young Diane Lane is lovely as a woman torn between devotion to her father and accepting the reality of his past. The end was abrupt and strange. The film did have some tense moments.
It's not as good as "The Music Box" but it's okay.
Eric Roberts plays the fiance of Diane Lane who discovers some unpleasant realities about his future father in law played by George C Scott. While the premise, exposing a nazi collaborator, is a good one, the film never really builds any suspense. On a scale of one to ten.. 6
I thought Eric Roberts and Diane performances were trite in this film. Most of the time I couldn't wait for them to get off the screen. However I truely enjoyed Vyto Ruginis in this film as always. Scott was okay as well
Some compared this to "Music Box" - which is a much better film, least of all because it doesn't make sweeping erroneous generalizations about history. Here's an example: the hero is told by a policeman that "Not all Romanians were really that bad (during WWII.)" Anyone with a *pinch* of historical knowledge should be horrified, considering Romania's war efforts on the Allies' side shortened the conflict in Europe by at least six months, and that the fascist elements alluded to in the film were nowhere close to the Nazis. The sad truth is that everyone involved in this production was in it for the money, and it's heartbreaking to see George C. Scott spoiling his name with TV trash, after the wonders he's done in "Patton". The plot is outrageous and bordering bad taste, the characters are paper-thin and lacking motivation, the actors have no chemistry... and Scott's painful delivery of a few Romanian words is a hoot. I can't imagine anyone liking this garbage.
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