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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Angel DVD Review

On DVD: February 17th, 2009

Rated Canada 14A for mature theme, and coarse language.

Running time: 134 minutes

François Ozon (dir.)

Romola Garai as Angel Deverell

Sam Neill as Théo

Charlotte Rampling as Hermione

Lucy Russell as Nora Howe-Nevinson

Michael Fassbender as Esmé

Romola Garai as Angel Deverell and Michael Fassbender as Esmé in Director François Ozon’s Angel.

Our reviews below:


Angel Review By John C.

* (out of 4)

Early on in the film Angel, the main character Angel Deverell, (played by Romola Garai, who plays the part like an over dramatic stage performer), says of her new book that she doesn’t fear critics, well this movie should. The best thing I can say about Angel is at a running time of 2 hours and 14 minutes, feeling more like five hours, it still managed to keep me awake. The first half of the movie is so bad, it’s funny, and I don’t think it was meant to be a comedy. The second half is just bad, but still manages to inadvertently be funny. The drama is never there, we never care for any of the characters, because none of them are likable. There are three death scenes that bring “badly overacted death scenes” to a new low.

At times I wasn’t sure if they were trying to be bad, because if they weren’t, than it’s a little sad that everyone involved took it so seriously. It is adapted from a book, the kind that you would see on your mother or grandmother’s bedside table. The book, surprisingly, actually sounds worse, (apparently in the book her friend Norah has a mustache). The film doesn’t have all that much going for it, and I had to wonder if Sam Neill needed money, because I’m not sure why else he would have signed on to be in this. Although, I do have to say that some of the scenery of England in 1905 was nice, and at the beginning at least gave me something to look at. The musical theme is pleasant over the first few scenes, but by the end I never wanted to hear it again. Although, I have to admit it is one of the stronger points of the production which is why the composer’s name is listed under the movie’s title on the DVD package.

I enjoyed Angel, but not for the right reasons. So, you can pretty much skip the film. But if you like films that are so bad, they’re funny, than this movie is for you. The only life I can see it having is at film clubs where people get together and watch bad movies. That is if they can fit it in between all those Ed Wood films.

The DVD includes a 27 minute making-of, a seven minute interview with lead actress Romola Garai, the films theatrical trailer and trailers for Fugitive Pieces and Before the Rains.


Angel Review By Erin V.

*1/2 (out of 4)

There’s something about parts of the movie Angel that is a perfect example of the long sought after piece of Cinema... Comedy. I have seen many films that no matter how hard they try to make you laugh, you just can’t seem to get what’s so funny about it. And then, alas, the comedic writer has failed. But what if... What if, the writer who had written the comedy, had not meant to make a comedy at all? And without trying, (s)he made people laugh? What if the film was meant to be a drama, one filled with love, passion, and ultimately heartbreak? Yet despite all this, in the mist of all that melodrama, there are people in the theatre, or in front of their tv sets laughing, high with the experience of a good laugh, which we all love these days of tough economic times. In the words of the great King Julien of Madagascar fame, “I love to laugh like this!!!”

This being said though, I would hate to be the one to break it to the director of a supposed to be serious film, the comedy I found in his work, as this could lead to actual drama, rather than that which is attempting to be drama on screen.

I am sorry, but I just couldn’t take this drama seriously amongst the special transportation/traveling effects that would rival those from the 1940’s, and also in the romantic scene where it starts to rain that would rival the clip from High School Musical 3: Senior Year. I really felt like I was an actor on a fake Gondola in one scene, so if that’s what the filmmakers were going for, thank you. Unfortunately, I paid so much attention to the fake boat on the fake background, that it took me out of whatever the scene was actually about.

I laughed so hard at all of the driving scenes that were obviously a throwback to old cinema. It was a pleasure to see these effects coming back today - they should be used more, as they allow a bit of laughter to stop the film from otherwise dragging. The traveling scenes with the Gondola, Donkey, and Camel, were some of my favorites. The Great Pyramids of Egypt are, well, great. Too bad they were obviously a picture, although it does allow you to dream that you too could have the Great Pyramids of Egypt on your wall... Anyway, back on topic. Overall, the laughing effect took a while to wear off, (and boy is it fun to reminisce about those scenes, and that feeling).

Don’t buy this film if it is a serious drama that you are looking for. Some people, admittedly even myself, may find some form of amusement in this film. It does have some rather comedic moments, so therefor falls into the class of so bad, it’s good. That’s basically the only reason I gave it such a high star rating. I would take this over a really depressing drama any day though.

One thing I will add though, if only just because it was in my mind, the Donkey, and Camel gave a great performance, so kudos to whoever cast them!


Angel Review By Nicole

???? (out of 4)



Angel Review By Maureen

???? (out of 4)



Angel Review By Tony

???? (out of 4)



Consensus: Angel is a drama that when watched as a comedy, actually has some entertainment value. This is possibly not the best a film should be. While not really worth spending money for, if it’s on TV, parts of it are good/funny especially in the first half, (but for maybe the wrong

reasons?). *1/4 (Out of 4)