Wim Wenders' film is fantastic,partially because of the acting,photography,and script,but also because of a totally unforseeable event-the Berlin Wall fell two years after the film was made,and so this is an ode to an era which,though historically recent,is now in an unreachable past.I have watched this with my 17 year old neice,who thought the film was great,but,for her,it may as well have been set during the late Byzantine Empire.
The story is easy to summarise.There are angels watching over each one of us(at least in late 1980s West Berlin).They share our joys and sorrows,and try to protect us from ourselves.One(played by Bruno Ganz) is fascinated by us humans to the extent that he falls in love with a trapeze artist,decides to leave infinity and become human.
Before and after his transition to humanity,the angel meets another of his ilk(played by Peter Falk)who decided to become human some time earlier.The angel then meets the trapeze artist-can't tell you any more,I'd ruin the end.
Fans of Nick Cave are in for a treat,he performs most of the soundtrack.
For me,the most impressive aspect of the film is Wenders' use of Berlin,to the extent that the city almost becomes a character in the film in it's own right.The angels meeting on top of the Victory Monument,overseeing us in the University library,comforting us as we ride in ambulances or on the U-Bahn,and,in an unforgettable scene,trying and failing to stop a person leaping from a skyscraper-all of this integrates Berlin's urban landscape so well.
If you've never been to Berlin and are thinkling of going,watch this first.If you like brilliant phtography and a strange,dream-like story with great acting,again watch this.
NB-There was a dreadful Hollywood remake of "Wings Of Desire",called "City Of Angels".It's truly woeful-what do you expect of any film with Meg Ryan in it?-so avoid like the plague.