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Review: Angel

Inglorious kitsch melodrama
By GERALD PEARY  |  December 16, 2008
3.0 3.0 Stars


VIDEO: The trailer for Angel

For a time in this first English-language film by French auteur Francois Ozon (8 Women, Swimming Pool), which is based on a book by British novelist Elizabeth Taylor, it's hard to know what to make of the turn-of-the-20th-century tale of Angel Deverell (Romola Garai), the spoiled daughter of a grocery-store owner who becomes a major bestselling writer of bodice-ripper pulp novels.

But Ozon has a wry plan, for the conventionally told tale switches tone and becomes a very funny bodice ripper itself, an inglorious kitsch melodrama with Angel caught between a heavy-drinking, self-loathing, crippled-in-the-war, womanizing husband (Michael Fassbender, a dime-novel Laurence Olivier) and her husband's lesbian masochist sister (Lucy Russell), who types Angel's manuscripts and gives her erotic backrubs.

And oh, that ripe piano music, right out of Days of Our Lives!

  Topics: Reviews , Media, Books, Elizabeth Taylor,  More more >
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