An Angel At My Table  [DVD]
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'An Angel at My Table' is the internationally acclaimed second film by Oscar-winning director Jane Campion ('The Piano', 'In the Cut'). It is an extraordinarily moving celebration of the life of Janet Frame, New Zealand's most distinguished author, based on her autobiographical trilogy. The film follows Janet through her poor Depression-era childhood and her growing fascination with literature; her painfully shy student days and her subsequent treatment for misdiagnosed schizophrenia; and finally on her travels to Europe where she samples Bohemian life and achieves international success as a writer. Kerry Fox ('Intimacy', 'Shallow Grave') is outstanding in the leading role of the adult Janet.
Originally produced as a three-part miniseries for New Zealand television, this extraordinary film is based on the life of Janet Frame, an introverted, sensitive girl who was later misdiagnosed as schizophrenic and spent eight years in a psychiatric hospital. She would later become one of New Zealand's most celebrated poets and novelists, publishing her first books while she was still confined to a mental ward. She had endured over 200 electroshock treatments and had almost been lobotomized by careless physicians who took no time to understand that she was merely awkward and shy and suffered from little more than routine depression. From a solid screenplayby Laura Jones, director Jane Campion (The Piano) tells this story without soapy melodrama but rather as anexploration of a challenged creative spirit--a journey into a writer's mind, exploring the power of imagination as a mechanism of survival and self-defense. Three talented actors play Janet Frame at different ages throughout the film, with Kerry Fox giving a powerful performance as the young-adult Janet, whose own skill and creative tenacity would prove to be her salvation. Frightening, harrowing and ultimately a source of humanistic enlightenment, An Angel at My Table (titled after Frame's autobiography) is a film you won't soon forget.--Jeff Shannon --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
A must view, if you are into a real life drama which gives you an insight to a small world far away in the 1940's, as well as a controversial life.
This, my second viewing after many years, the biographical story of Janet Frame still packs its punch. I was so impressed the first time round, I lent it to a consultant psychiatrist friend, to view as a case study and how attitudes and practices had changed. He didn't reveal any trade secrets, though, saying only that it was a very good film.
In this respect, I'm talking about Frame's hospitalisation and misdiagnosis, which of course, is only one strand of her story. Growing up with 4 other brothers and sisters, she's like any other little girl, a bit naughty, a bit chubby, getting into trouble. And she writes poetry. When her sister Myrtle accidentally drowns, Janet loses her herself further and further in that poetry, making her withdraw from society - and into herself.
Originally shown on New Zealand TV in three parts, it is still segmented into parts 1, 2 and 3, each dealing with a particular period in her life. If the total 2.5 hours seems long, then watch it as a serial, each being 50 mins long.
Being biographical and from the pen of a best-selling author about herself, as you would expect, the script and its portrayal is lush, vivid and full of little personal details and insights. Each of the three actors who play her as a child, teenager and then, Kerry Fox as the adult, are very good.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It was all right - flatter than a pancake and presented with the minium of fuss; Angel At My Table was presented as the thing Pseudo-intellectuals a like me should see after... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Dan Smith
As films go this is excellent and was nominated for at least one prize or maybe won it. But after reading the book it is a disappointment.Published on 27 Aug. 2013 by Salocin
Quite disturbing at times but very thought provoking. A brilliant performance by Kerry Fox in the leading role. Read morePublished on 27 Dec. 2012 by TonyBill
Jane Campion can't make a bad film, it seems. She faithfully captures the essence of Janet Frame's autobiographical trilogy.Published on 20 Feb. 2010 by Tanyrallt