Angel (2007)


Drama | Romance


François Ozon


UK | Belgium | France


Romola Garai, Sam Neill, Lucy Russell, Michael Fassbender, Charlotte Rampling, Jacqueline Tong, Janine Duvitski, Christopher Benjamin, Tom Georgeson, Simon Woods, Jemma Powell, Alison Pargeter, Seymour Matthew, Una Stubbs, Rosanna Lavelle


A destitute but determined young woman (Romola Garai) living in turn-of-the-century England ascends the social ranks after authoring a series of successful romantic novels.


This is the second film by French director François Ozon I watch. And this is also the second time I don't understand what he is trying to do. Maybe I've picked the wrong movies, or maybe he just not my kind of director. 

Anyway, "Angel" is an unbearable, corny and melodramatic film whose only perks are the nice photography and a young Michael Fassbender, which is the reason I ended up watching this.

The story starts off as a Dickensian/Brontë type of story, which is good, but unfortunately develops into a tedious and uninteresting story about a spoiled brat named Angel that is no angel at all. I've been waiting the whole time for a plot twist that never came. Maybe that was the twist. Keyser Söze said "the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist", maybe the writer adopted that same mentality.

Which brings me to my second point. I'm still trying to figure out what's worst, the fact that someone managed to get such a story published, or the fact that someone else had the great idea to make a film out of it.

But that's not all. Neither the relationships nor the characters do engage, and the latter are bloody awful and impossible to empathize with. Angel is an annoying, insolent girl. Everybody else are cardboard characters.

The acting isn't better. Romola Garai gives a poor performance as the female lead, and she is horribly overacting here. Michael Fassbender is only slightly better, but this definitely is one of his worst performances. On the other hand there are Sam Neill and Charlotte Rampling, both doing great and both completely wasted in such a film.