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Short Takes: Female Trouble Angel, A Single Man, and Days of Heaven

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Short Takes: Female Trouble  Angel, A Single Man, and Days of Heaven Empty Short Takes: Female Trouble Angel, A Single Man, and Days of Heaven

Post by Admin on Wed Jan 13, 2010 2:50 am


Based on a tome by British writer Elizabeth Taylor (not that Elizabeth Taylor), François Ozon's (Swimming Pool, 8 Women) yummy retro fairy tale about the meteoric rise and cataclysmic fall of a female novelist in Edwardian England is the ultimate in guilty pleasure treasures. Bratty schoolgirl Angel Deverell (Romola Garai, best known as Keira Knightley's duplicitous kid sister in Atonement) will stop at nothing to achieve literary success, and thanks to the efforts of a sympathetic publisher (Sam Neill) and her selfless-bordering-on-masochist personal secretary (Lucy Russell), she realizes her dream. The only thing standing between Angel and true happiness, though, is struggling painter Esmé (Michael Fassbender from Inglourious Basterds), the Rhett Butler-like rogue who becomes her eventual undoing. Ozon's witty deployment of deliberately phony matte backdrops and swelling, syrupy orchestral music are Golden Age of Hollywood stuff, and Angel could have been one of Bette Davis or Joan Crawford's signature roles. But it's doubtful whether even George Cukor or Douglas Sirk could have made a movie as ornately, exquisitely gilded or sublimely entertaining as this.

— Milan Paurich

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