6.8/10
4,282
62 user 38 critic

Angels and Insects (1995)

In the 1800s a naturalist marries into a family of British country gentry.

Director:

Philip Haas

Writers:

A.S. Byatt (novel), Belinda Haas (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mark Rylance ... William Adamson
Kristin Scott Thomas ... Matty Crompton
Patsy Kensit ... Eugenia Alabaster Adamson
Jeremy Kemp ... Sir Harald Alabaster
Douglas Henshall ... Edgar Alabaster
Annette Badland ... Lady Alabaster
Chris Larkin ... Robin
Anna Massey ... Miss Mead
Saskia Wickham Saskia Wickham ... Rowena Alabaster
Lindsay Thomas Lindsay Thomas ... Lady Alabaster's Maid
Michelle Sylvester Michelle Sylvester ... Margaret Alabaster
Clare Lovell Clare Lovell ... Elaine Alabaster
Jenny Lovell Jenny Lovell ... Edith Alabaster
Oona Haas Oona Haas ... Alice Alabaster
Angus Hodder Angus Hodder ... Guy Alabaster
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Storyline

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 Volker Boehm

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

An Elegant Seduction. An Erotic Deception. A Stunning Revelation.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexuality and graphic nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 January 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Des anges et des insectes See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$3,414,301

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,414,301
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Peter O'Toole was originally announced for the Jeremy Kemp part. See more »

Goofs

In spite of being set in England, we hear the songs and calls of three birds from North America: Red-winged Blackbird, American Robin, and Blue Jay. See more »

Quotes

Mr. William Adamson: Whom can I tell that I should not destroy in the telling.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 69th Annual Academy Awards (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

A bug disguised as a person
10 May 2019 | by ReadingFilmSee all my reviews

This compulsion in analysis built the modern world. "You know nothing" rather he's saying, "Stop learning." Rylance is a channel in goodness, also how he survives dangerous tribal societies is the way how journalists hide; always allowing himself shielding to look in harmless non-judgment. Whereas his true thoughts we can intone through our own. 'Seeing as audience.' See also how he brings the whole family into his studies, meaning, enlightenment awareness is contagious. He is a prophet bringing our context to them. "Observing the unknown world by the hand." He endlessly seeks from his vacancy into a full immersion. Even so much as an asexual becoming sexual; the adventure becomes wholly explored as if another scientific checklist. "How fascinating I've loved, had children, been betrayed and lost everything, anyway shall we be off then?" Does he even care about anything but bugs? Even after its shocking twist, his feeling is great relief in freedom for the 'next adventure' AKA he was already seeking reasons to leave. Humanity we know is predictable. Bugs are surprising. What about his sheer selfishness? "Have we not been good to you?" "Yes, but..." Of course he is a non-entity. See how he's in awe of the other's abilities in art, which the film brings as the divine missing piece of him. Art and science here are cousins with a mutual respect; coping as neither reflect the material 'actuality.' An insect in a human's body. Ants and socialism unlocks the piece as an abuse of the agreement between the 'haves and have nots.' And then, Film always brings about renewal--it's either nature or art. Both here. But I also see an urgent and restless revolution across it for its gentleness. The framing and beautiful shots I've read to be vicious sarcasm against its subjects aimless luxury (even the mother's death was strangely gluttonous) rather I see it lazy and graceful, sparing its characters judgment with both pity and affection; as in, these are just symptoms not the cause. But still it all must be expunged. One review calls it, 'a postmodern period piece,' which might be my absolute favorite thing.


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