Angel Deverell comes of age in Edwardian Cheshire knowing she will be a great writer. Rising above her class (her widowed mother has a grocery shop), Angel finds a publisher and a wide audience for her frothy romances. With royalties, she buys an estate, then she's smitten by Esme, a rake from local aristocracy and an artist of dark temperament. She hires Esme's sister Nora, who dotes on her, as a personal assistant, and pursues Esme. Angel is grandly self-centered, coloring her world as if it were one of her novels. When the Great War breaks out and reality begins to trump her will, can Angel hold on to her man and her public? Written by
When Garai first went to the audition for this film, the director turned her away because she was looking too 'rough'. The actress came back again, all dressed up, and ended up winning the role of Angel. See more »
What a disappointment. It's hard to know what attracted Ozon to Elizabeth Taylor's fantastic source novel as his adaptation is misjudged on a number of levels. Although he slavishly sticks to Taylor's plot, Ozon has real problems with - or chooses to ignore - the very things that are at the heart of the novel. Taylor's ironic, often cruel wit is missing. Characters are softened in the way one would expect of Hollywood, but not of French cinema. He doesn't seem able to master Taylor's irony at all - the audience at last night's London Film Festival screening were very confused about where and when they should laugh. It was impossible to know what the director felt about the characters. Almost entirely missing was Taylor's exceptional portrait of class - one of the major themes of the novel. The film felt like a classic Europudding - rootless in an implausible world. There was very little sense of being in Edwardian Britain.
The film is overwrought and out of control. If I hadn't already read the novel, I would have been completely puzzled by what I was watching and how I was supposed to respond or feel.
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