6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A wonderful period piece,
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This review is from: Angel [DVD] (DVD)
The mixed reviews I have read about this movie suggest most viewers either love it or hate it. There appears to be very little middle ground. Most of the criticisms centered on the perceived overacting of Romola Garai as Angel Deverell, her unlikeable character, the silly sentiment and laughable special effects. All these, I think, are missing the point.
In the movie, Angel is an immature, spoiled and imaginative girl dwelling on fantasies, but with a great determination to succeed. If this supposed to be her character, then it is a brilliant and totally believable portrayal. One can appreciate her positive qualities and dislike her negative ones at the same time. Far from just being beautiful, Miss Garai has the uncanny ability to actually make one feel the way her role does on screen. She looks different from one role to the next such that one can hardly recognize her as the same person in different movies. Surely these are the hallmarks of a great (but sadly under-appreciated) actor.
The sentiment in the movie, which may look silly in the present day, are quite realistic for the period. Director Francois Ozon said the crap special effects are intentional, which is entirely believable. I cannot imagine he (or any sane director!), with such a big budget, would settle for scenes which will make him a laughing stock. He just wanted to create a movie of the 40s or 50s,warts and all.
The movie is perhaps a bit overly sentimental and unabashedly old fashioned, which again is likely to be intentional. However, as I am prepared to view it as what it is, I find it very well made and highly enjoyable. I guess its assessment will depend on who is watching it.