Skip to main content

Movie Review: Angel-A: It's a Wonderful Life with Estrogen?



Angel-a gives movie viewers a chance to experience how Frank Capra's holiday film, It's a Wonderful Life, might have looked if pudgy angel Clarence was substituted by a tall leggy blonde female.

Unlike George Bailey, our main character Andre is not a good guy who has helped lots of people. Andre is a swindler. He lies about his heritage depending on who he is talking to. He borrows money and then loses it by gambling. Every time the bill collectors come by to collect, he has grand story of why he can't pay at the moment, but will soon. His only saving grace seems to be that he is somewhat charming and people enjoy hearing his excuses.

One evening, it seems his luck has run out and he is told to pay or be killed. He decides to end his life by jumping off a bridge. But just as he prepares to jump, he looks over and sees a gorgeous woman preparing to jump, also. She's over six feet tall with platinum blonde hair, long legs, and the perfect figure. Andre decides to save the goddess and can't understand why someone like her would want to kill herself. The woman's name is Angela. 


Angela tells her Andre she will do whatever he asks of her, and Andre asks her to help him pay back his debt. She readily agrees and the two walk around the city, coming up with ways to earn money. The two make a ridiculous but delightful pair. Angel towers over Andre by a good foot at least. And while Andre is anxious, jittery, and sneaky, Angel is calm, cool, and easygoing. 

Best of all, now that Angela's with him, everything seems easier and people seem to do whatever she asks. Her secret, she says, is being good. People have to treat you better when you are good. Andre has a lot to learn about who he is and what he wants out of life, and Angel-a is there to show him the way. 

This was a marvelous and highly entertaining movie. It's a French film I watched with English subtitles, and it's directed by Luc Besson, director of movies Fifth Element, Taken, and Transponder. Andre and Angela are both charming and likable characters. Even though we recognize the only one holding Andre back is Andre, we still root for him throughout the movie. And though Angela is angelic, she's also not exactly what you'd expect. She chain smokes and isn't opposed to using her charms on men to get what she wants.But this adds to her humanity and helps us relate to her easier than if she was perfect and good in every way.
The setting is beautiful Paris in all of its splendor. The film was done in a crisp black and white, and Paris never looked better. The director makes good use of the city as the two walk around to different clubs, restaurants, and landmarks. 

The writing on the screenplay is creative and thoughtful. There isn't a lot of action in the movie. Mostly our two main characters talk in different settings and share their thoughts. It reminded me a little of Ethan Hawke and Julia Delpy's Sunrise/Sunset trilogy with lots of revealing dialogue that establishes who are characters are. The style of the movie is much different than those films, though, because it adds elements of magical realism. Angela, after all, is an angel, so she can do incredible things, as well as say incredible things that will capture your emotions. 

Overall, Angel-a is an impressive film that will provoke a strong response. Angel-a hints at the preciousness of life and how you can't love someone else until you love yourself.    

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Border (2018): A Dark Swedish Fairy Tale

Have you ever felt like you are alone? Like you exist and move around in a community of people that you are nothing like?

Imagine how Tina feels. She works as a highly competent border guard for the sole reason that her sense of smell is extrasensory. She can smell fear, shame, and any negative emotion on people as they cross through her security area, and she is never wrong about her suspicions. Her work career, however, might be the only thing she has going for her.

She lives on the outskirts of town with a boyfriend that owns a pack of dogs, and from all counts, they live together in a loveless domestic arrangement that is hard to imagine either of them conceiving. Things become a little clearer later as we learn that Tina owns the home and the boyfriend is enjoying the luxury of living rent free. Tina appears to have no family except for the man she calls father, who claims to have adopted her.

Tina is unattractive by human standards and is most often seen staring attentively and …

Movie Review: Gone Girl (2014) and Lessons About Marriage

Gone Girl is a book-to-movie project that only took 2 years to complete, compared to most movie projects, which take an average of four years (Maze Runner, Twilight, and Hunger Games are all examples of this). Once I heard the movie was being released, I re-read the book in anticipation of the movie release. I have to say, the book was outstanding. I work at a library, and many people were checking out this book. Sometimes I am slow to pick up a hot book, just because I can be stubborn. The book took a genre like suspense, and took it to the new level. The book changes viewpoints and storytelling strategies so many times, and just as you think you have finally predicted the ending, it ends in a way that no one could possibly expect.

Only recently did I find a book that compares called The Farm by Tom Rob Smith, released two years after Gone Girl. Suffice it to say, I am not often enamored with adult fiction. Gone Girl is truly special.

I went into the movie with high hopes, but also r…

The Tradition of the Annual Debbie Macomber Christmas Book

My tradition of reading the annual Debbie Macomber Christmas romance novel started like any tradition does -- by my doing something one time, enjoying, and repeating the experience each year. Before you know it, the repeated action becomes a tradition, and you can't imagine life without it. I don't read any other Macomber novels, but I do read her Christmas books. I normally finish them on the 90 minute flight home.

If you aren't familiar with Macomber's line of Christmas books, let's just say they are similar to a Hallmark movie experience. There is always a smart, savvy female who is stubborn and a rugged curmudgeonly man, often the type that would reside in isolation, in Alaska, for instance. He is normally wealthy, and she normally has a career and feels torn by her feelings. The two fight their attraction but, by the end, they just can't help themselves and fall in love. 
I believe my first Debbie Macomber Christmas book was her 2003 The Snow Bride. Just …