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Angel-a [2005] [Blu-ray]


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Product details

  • Actors: Jamel Debbouze, Rie Rasmussen, Gilbert Melki, Serge Riaboukine, Akim Chir
  • Directors: Luc Besson
  • Producers: Luc Besson
  • Format: Import, Blu-ray, Subtitled, Widescreen, Black & White
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Studiocanal
  • DVD Release Date: 14 Sept. 2009
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002BC9YY8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 39,566 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Luc Besson directs an uncharacteristically minimalist tale of a hustler and an angel. Andre (Jamel Debbouze), a young Parisian hustler, has run out of luck. He's broke and in debt to his neck and his one hope - a win on the US green card lottery, has fallen through due to an unforeseen loophole. Deciding to check out early, he mounts the Pont Neuf bridge, ready to take a swan dive and make it all go away. Angel-A (Rie Rasmussen) a leggy, mesmeric blonde appears suddenly and beats him to the drop - diving in ahead of him. Panicked, instinct kicks in, and he rescues her in a desperate, flailing kerfuffle. In return, she offers her help in getting his life back on track. She's a divine intervener, it emerges, not on the bridge through chance at all. Though she's his guardian angel, their need for each other is mutual, as he finds out.

From Amazon.co.uk

It’s been some time some French director Luc Besson stepped behind the camera. And truthfully, Angel-A, good as it is, is a little underwhelming, particularly when you see that Besson’s curriculum vitae includes Leon, The Big Blue and The Fifth Element.

Still, that’s not to say that Angel-A is a film without merit. Quite the contrary, in fact, as this simple, diverting tale has plenty in its corner. Andre, played by Jamel Debbouze, is just about to end his life. When we meet him, he’s heavily in debt and he chooses to drown himself in the River Seine. Yet he’s saved by the mysterious Angel-A of the film’s title (played by Rie Rasmussen), and she offers to help Andre pull through his current problems. Thus, the stage is set for a pleasant, engaging mix of comedy, drama and a dose of romance, made all the stronger by its likeable lead actors.

While Angel-A is undoubtedly lacking the ambition of some of Besson’s earlier work, it’s a film that’s hard not like. It’s beautifully shot, tightly put together and thrives on its ultimate simplicity. It won’t be a dish to everyone’s taste, but it’s nonetheless likely to reward the majority who are tempted to give it a spin. --Jon Foster --This text refers to the DVD edition.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By SL-N/1973 on 14 Feb. 2010
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This is a surreal feel-good comedy from one of France's best directors. We have a downtrodden loser at the end of his tether who meets a catwalk model of an angel who turns his life around and changes how he sees himself and the world around him.
Paris itself is the third leading character in this tale and the cinematography is glorious. It's all been well planned and even short scenes of the two main characters are filmed in the most visually appealing way, for example they'll be walking across a bridge for just a few seconds - but they'll be filmed from beyond one of the other bridges to show off just how beautiful the summer sun makes Paris look. This happens time and again, and adds up to a visual treat for anybody with a soft spot for Paris. The ending is completely mad and emphasises that this is a modern day fairytale, nothing more nothing less, and that dramatic finale makes Angel-A seem very different (in a lighter, crazy way) for the second viewing. The film gets a second life when you know what's coming.

I had it on dvd and saw it plenty of times, so when it came out on the better format I replaced it immediately and I'm glad I did. The transfer is magnificent. The greys and blacks have become so rich, and there are great swathes of very soft tints slipped into some scenes which weren't so obvious on dvd, such as the skies above Paris having the vaguest of blue hues. The clarity is cranked up a gear and therefore I am one pleased customer.

Strange though, the subtitles have been re-done and some lines have been re-interpreted and some words have been ditched. It doesn't really matter, but it does make me wonder how the mood or tone of foreign films can be changed by the people who do the subtitles.
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60 of 65 people found the following review helpful By L. Davidson VINE VOICE on 25 Feb. 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I have no hesitation in giving top marks to this stylish French film. It is filmed beautifully in monochrome, the acting performances from Rie Rasmussen and Jamel Debbouuze are impeccable ,the musical soundtrack is enchanting and the storyline is captivating.Debbouze plays a businessman,Andre, up to his ears in debt to a number of dangerous criminals, while the svelte,stunning Rasmussen plays a mysterious stranger whose name,Angela, provides a clue to her real identity.Their paths cross on a bridge and the pair gradually build up a close relationship as Angela assists Andre with his debt problems and helps him feel better about himself and life in general. The on screen chemistry between the unlikely pair is very strong and the film touches on a number of key themes such as the transforming power of love, the unnoticed influence of the supernatural and the importance of a sense of amour propre. Quirky and idiosyncratic, romantic and witty, "Angel-A" is one of the best films that I have seen this year.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Craobh Rua VINE VOICE on 22 Mar. 2011
Format: DVD
Directed by Luc Besson, Angel-A was first released in 2005. It's a French romcom (not quite what most would expect from Besson) and stars Jamel Debbouze and Rie Rasmussen in the two lead roles.

André is 28 years old and badly down on his luck. Although his working practices have been a little shady in the past, he's trying to make an honest fist of things and - following a recent trip abroad - is sure that his big break is just around the corner. However, given that he owes an absolute fortune to nearly every crook, villain and gangster in Paris, he mightn't live to see the good times. Having sought help and protection from both the police - who wouldn't lock him up for a few days - and the US Embassy - although of North African descent, he holds a green card - he's left alone and desperate. Eventually, he gives up and decides to throw himself off a bridge and into the Seine...and, just as he's about to jump, he notices Angela to his left. In fairness, Angela is very distracting : she's a tall, very leggy and exceptionally beautiful blonde...and the dress she's wearing only just keeps everything covered. Although he pleads with her not to jump, she won't listen...and so, rather than ending his own life, André finds himself jumping in and saving Angela's. The pair get talking on the banks of the river and, by way of thanks, Angela dedicates herself to helping André. Miraculously, with Angela on his side, things start looking up very, very quickly...

It is subtitled (which may put some people off) and it mightn't appeal to the very innocent, but I loved it. There is a real `feel-good' element to the movie and there is a pretty obvious comparison to "It's a Wonderful Life". Some of the better known locations of Paris are used as the story's backdrop - the Seine and its bridges, the bateaux mouche and the Eiffel Tower - and it's very stylishly shot in black and white. A film I'd have no hesitation in recommending.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mark Barry HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 15 Mar. 2014
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Coming from Writer/Director LUC BESSON who gave the world the Sci-Fi/Indiana Jones extravaganzas "The Fifth Element" and "The Extraordinary Adventures Of Adele Blanc-Sec" and tense/ballsy thrillers like "Taken", "Nikita" and "Leon" - the pared-back almost serene "Angel-A" is not what you'd expect from this amazingly gifted Frenchman. Yet it so works.

Large part of the credit has to go to the casting one of his favourite lead actors JAMEL DEBBOUZE. Squat, cute, compelling - his lined crumpled features and stubbly chin are akin to a French Humphrey Bogart - the kind of actor whose face and watery eyes can express so much and have you routing for his character with an investment that feels personal. And like most Male Directors of a certain age - our Luc likes his leading ladies too (the prettier the better). Enter the extraordinary-looking RIE RASMUSSEN.

Jamel plays Andre Massau - an Algerian pint-sized low-life living in Paris who steals croissants from restaurant tables and owes money to Frank the Frenchman and Pedro the Spaniard. But unless Andre pays up more than 50,000 Euro by midnight Saturday - his body will be `everywhere' on Sunday morning. Failing to find solace in the American Embassy (a green card he won in a Lottery), even the French Police won't put him in Jail so he can be safe for a few days. Andre finally goes to the bridge overlooking the Seine and toys with the idea of ending it all. But annoyingly he's not alone. A six-foot high stick-insect blond in a tight black party dress with a pearl necklace sporting legs that stretch six miles into the ground is also on the wrong side of the ornate railings about to do the same.
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