The movie is a study of a family of country gentry in Victorian England. William Adamson, a young scientist, is introduced into the Alabaster family by Reverend Mr Alabaster who is also fascinated by insects. William marries the older daughter of the family and studies the amounts of insects in the garden of the villa. His - for the gentry - strange behaviors reveal at the same time their own failures and passions. Written by
"Angels and Insects" is a slow starter with several strikes against it from the outset. First, the title is a turn-off (from the Byatt book of the same name). Secondly it's a period piece (circa mid 19th century England). Thirdly it factors in Darwinism, Amazon natives, ants and insects, and other esoteric subjects which don't make films appealing to the masses. Finally it has none of the usual Hollywood tinsel and trappings. Those, however, who can get past all that will find a masterpiece of filming, acting, directing, writing, costuming, orchestration, etc. A slowly captivating and somewhat melancholy story of the goings-on within an English manor, "A&I" delivers powerful drama, sterling performances, and masterful execution by the auteur. A great watch for those who love cinema for cinema's sake.
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