5.9/10
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Angel (2007)

Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | 14 March 2007 (Belgium)
The rise and fall of a young eccentric British writer, in the early 20th century.

Director:

François Ozon
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1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Romola Garai ... Angel Deverell
Sam Neill ... Théo
Lucy Russell ... Nora Howe-Nevinson
Michael Fassbender ... Esmé
Charlotte Rampling ... Hermione
Jacqueline Tong ... Mother Deverell
Janine Duvitski Janine Duvitski ... Aunt Lottie
Christopher Benjamin ... Lord Norley
Tom Georgeson Tom Georgeson ... Marvell
Simon Woods ... Clive Fennelly
Jemma Powell ... Angelica
Alison Pargeter ... Edwina
Seymour Matthews Seymour Matthews ... Norley Doctor
Una Stubbs ... Miss Dawson
Jo Perrin Jo Perrin ... Publisher's secretary
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Storyline

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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A dreary city tenement provides backdrop to this tale of exclusion and the magic it takes to become accepted.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | Belgium | France

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 March 2007 (Belgium) See more »

Also Known As:

Angel - Ein Leben wie im Traum See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Olivier Martinez was considered for the role of Esme. See more »

Quotes

Angel Deverell: [from trailer] Everyone told me my dreams were lies. All I wanted was to make it true.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Une nouvelle amie (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Hell's Angel
23 April 2007 | by GeofbobSee all my reviews

For me, this film is truly awful. It tells the story of an English woman who writes simplistic, kitschy, romantic novels - think Barbara Cartland, but set in the 1900s. Its prolific, eponymous heroine, the daughter of a provincial grocer, has her first book published while still at school; and goes on to achieve fame and fortune, before meeting her inevitable nemesis.

Had the film contained irony, humour, imaginative visuals, original character insights or surprising plot twists, it could have been watchable, perhaps even admirable. But Francois Ozon, the writer/director, has used little or none of these; and instead has employed the sort of fairy-story, linear plot line, cardboard characters, melodramatic action and over-decorated interiors as one imagines appear in Angel's books. (Fortunately, we are given little by way of examples of her writing.) Incidentally, though on a technical level the film is mostly competent, there is a laughably bad piece of back-projection - or whatever equivalent is used these days - near the beginning, when Angel is in a carriage riding through London.

Even with these defects, the film might still have worked if Ozon had made his main character in the slightest degree likable or intriguing; had she been, say, a naive dreamer, who relates guilelessly to those around her and to her adulatory readership. We could then have understood and forgiven her ignorance of the absurdity of her writing. But it is hard for us to sympathise with Angel when she starts off as a hateful, materialistic, selfish brat; remains so throughout her period of success and lionisation; and hardly changes even when fate turns against her.

It would be easy to blame some of the film's flaws on over-acting by its principal, Romola Garai, but I suspect she plays her part exactly as Ozon wanted. The male lead is Michael Fassbender as Esmé, a stereotypical, garret-dwelling, Bohemian artist, who is the one object of Angel's adoration (besides herself). Also on stage are Lucy Russell as Nora, Esmé's sister, who genuinely admires and loves Angel; Sam Neill as Angel's publisher, who incredibly agrees to print her first schoolgirl effort despite her refusal to alter even one word of it; and Charlotte Rampling as his wife who is understandably baffled by his abandonment of his critical faculty.

Unless you're really stuck for something to do, I recommend giving Angel a miss. Instead, for those who haven't seen it, the recent Miss Potter is a far more credible and engaging portrait of a turn of the century female writer.


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