Angela (1995)

Not Rated   |    |  Drama


Angela (1995) Poster

The ten year-old Angela and her little sister Ellie move to an old house in the countryside with her parents Mae and Andrew. Their mother has mental illness and has just left an institution... See full summary »


6.4/10
750

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  • Miranda Rhyne in Angela (1995)
  • Miranda Rhyne in Angela (1995)
  • Miranda Rhyne in Angela (1995)
  • Peter Facinelli in Angela (1995)
  • Charlotte Eve Blythe, Anna Levine, and John Ventimiglia in Angela (1995)
  • Charlotte Eve Blythe and Miranda Rhyne in Angela (1995)

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28 June 2000 | Aw-komon
10
| Poetic, beautifully non-sentimental study of perspectives in the forgotten universe known as childhood
The two girls playing the lead parts here are total amateurs who act better actors' studio veterans. 'Level of belief beyond what any adult actors could achieve' is right, as Rebecca Miller, the director and writer, put it herself in her introduction on IFC. 'Jessica' is the story of a sort of modern day, adventurous, 'Huckleberry Finn type 10 year old girl living in the boondocks (Poughkeepsie?) with parents who are apparently former aspiring entertainer/artists who have now resigned themselves to the loss of their dreams and are having some weird, not quite clearly stated (but better for it being so)problems in their relationship. The mother succumbs to mental illness and Jessica, in order to cope creates an imaginary universe of 'order' based on the odd mixture of beliefs she's been taught in the (Christian Scientist?)household. Her only disciple is her little sister Ellie who follows her around as they do things to absolve themselves from whatever 'sins' they have committed, and 'go to heaven.' The wonderfully eccentric plot is beside the point though, because what emerges here is a unique perspective from the vantage point of a (quite mature but not vulgar) 10 year old, which automatically takes the viewer back to the forgotten soul of the 10 year old in themselves (not the silly Star Wars junkie type 10 year old soul, but the unspoiled , down-to-earth-in-its-flights-of-fancy, ten year old imagination that exists to whatever degree in all kids before it is forever eradicated). This is not easy; it is not like making a Disney movie. It requires super-involved naturalistic acting on the level of Brando and DeNiro from children. What Miller knows to her great credit is that children are much more likely to become 'themselves living in a different world' and therefore, a 'character' because they do not yet have the inhibitions that block most adult actors from believing the film world is real! The film world is as 'real' to them, as anything else once they get used to it. Jean-Pierre Leaud (for instance) has never again achieved the level of realism, as an experienced adult actor, that he did in 'The 400 Blows.' I'm glad I recorded this beautiful little film (since it's not available on video and is only shown once in a long while on IFC)because it clearly belongs in the same class of No-BS movies about childhood exemplified by 'The Little Fugitive,''Forbidden Games,''400 Blows,' and 'Au Revoir Les Enfants.'

Critic Reviews



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Did You Know?


Quotes

Angela: See this?
Ellie: Yeah.
Angela: That's exactly what men have. They stick it in the women. I've seen Mom and Dad do it. It looks like it hurts.
Ellie: Why do they do it then?
Angela: It's a rule. You have to.
Ellie: I don't wanna do it.
Angela: Well, if you don't do it by the time you're 21, you...


Goofs

Boom mic visible. Several times throughout the film, a boom mic (and even part of the boom) is VERY clearly visible, mostly in outdoor scenes when the boom was more necessary. This is a masking problem on an early DVD release, and is probably present on any VHS release as well (the DVD is likely transferred from the VHS). The movie was filmed in academy ratio with the intent to mask it to widescreen, in which it was shown in theaters. When telecined to VHS/DVD for home use to watch on your TV set, or perhaps even for TV broadcast, it wasn't masked: black bars were not placed over the top and bottom to make it letterboxed for widescreen. This was commonly done in Pan&Scan versions of many theatrical movies for TV broadcast and VHS release so you could get the whole screen without those annoying black bars which would give you a smaller amount of image to squint at. Unfortunately, with the whole screen image you also get portions of the image that were not meant to be seen, such as boom mics and track lights on the top and cables and camera dolly tracks and crew-members feet on the bottom. Older DVD releases of many movies just copied the full-screen without remasking it, which would require a whole new telecine transfer from the original film source. Even some newer DVD releases INCORRECTLY masked some movies, as the bars either weren't covering enough or were disproportional (covering too much on top and too little on bottom or vice-versa), since the widescreen aspect ratio varies and WHERE you put the masks can vary in a single movie. This is a big controversy, and happens more frequently than you might think; see the 3-DVD release of the Back To The Future trilogy for a famous example of improper masking. Pretty much, whenever you see boom mics visible, it is almost always a masking problem on a video release (TV broadcast or VHS or DVD transfer); it is not the fault of the director or cinematographer or editor.


Soundtracks

Angel Of Mercy
Performed by
Greta Gaines
Written by Greta Gaines
Courtesy of Sweat Ride Music
© 1994

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