Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Rie Rasmussen, Jamel Debbouze, Gilbert Melki, Serge Riaboukine, Akim Chir
Director: Luc Besson
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Science Fiction & Fantasy
From the director of The Professional and The Fifth Element comes a stunning, sexy tribute to the healing power of love. When André, a down-on-his-luck gambler, dives into the icy Seine to end it all, he winds up instead r... more »
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Jerry B. from KLAMATH FALLS, OR
Reviewed on 8/30/2015...
Angel-A - Well Made Art Film by Besson
Mark | East Coast | 01/29/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
Angel-A is a black and white movie based on a classic tale. The movie seems surprisingly "Hollywood" in its idealized theme, especially when you consider it's a French movie. Lovers of French film know how popular the themes of darkness and realism are. Still, Besson's skills as a master film maker shine through. The cinematography is fantastic. When you add in great acting, it's easier to swallow the pill of a very allegorical story.
Acting and Direction
The acting really is the hallmark of this movie. Jamel Debbouze was amazing as Andre, the small time hustler with big dreams. He delivers some very difficult scenes with realism and power.
Rie Rasmussen is also great as Angela. In the one DVD special feature, she talks about French not being her native tongue, which makes her dialogue all the more impressive. The director plays her against Andre using the contrasts of her height against his shortness, her beauty against his average looks and shabby clothes.
The supporting cast is also good, no doubt due to Besson's fine direction.
The Story and the Script
This story is hard to swallow. Even though Andre isn't really American, they manage to throw in some anti-American insults too. The script is clean, yet at times forced. Perhaps I am being too cynical. Still, the filmmaker, cast and crew make it work. Even a basic outline almost gives away the very predictable story line, so I won't go there. See it for yourself and be the judge.
For those who love fine art photography or just great film in general, this DVD is a gem. There are so many beautiful shots of Paris. It's done very expertly in black and white. One of the things that comes across in the "making of" feature is how tightly Besson works with his crew of many years.
It also made me wonder, how big was the budget for this film? How much is high-end camera equipment these days? It's just amazing they could produce such a visually amazing movie on an "independent film" budget. If it's true it bodes well for the future.
While there is only the one main "making of" feature, it is loaded with actual production info. Some of it amounts to a worship feature about Besson. No doubt, he's earned it. Still the actors talk about some elements of their preparation and process that are definitely educational and worth seeing. It's a nice extra, but how I greedily wish there was more!
Overall, this is an uplifting and entertaining movie, especially if you can suspend disbelief for 2 hours. The acting, cinematography, and film-making abilities of Besson make this a DVD worth owning for art-film lovers.
Angel-A is A-mazing
Dave Cordes | Denver, CO | 12/14/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Luc Besson breaks the mold and proves that he can craft pop-culture idiosyncrasies with artistic French film making that evokes the New Wave cinéaste of François Truffaut or Jean-Luc Godard. Hailed as a contemporary "It's A Wonderful Life," Angel-A is a film that examines the human condition and isn't afraid to tell us that in this really screwed up world that everything is still A-OK. In an age where we still can't seem to accept our cultural differences and struggle for individual acceptance, Besson delivers us an angel in the form of the seductive blonde vixen Angela who is about to take her life by jumping over a bridge into the Seine when she meets André, a compulsive liar, thief, gambler, and loser, who despises himself so much that he wants to end his life too. Together they save each other and discover who they both really are. It's a complete 180 from the visceral violence of La Femme Nikita or Leon - The Professional but it will make you feel alive and appreciate the important things in life we take for granted. With a penchant for casting unforgettably strong lead female talent ala Milla Jovavich, Anne Parillaud and Natalie Portman, Besson again does not disappoint with the spot-on casting of Danish actress Rie Rasmussen who both charms and seduces us with her amazing performance as Angela and whose career is destined to take flight."
kaioatey | Awatovi, AZ | 09/14/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This a profound film - simple and at times painfully sad. Addresses the humanity's predicament: everyone surreptitiously thinks themselves as great while human minds are in fact petty, opportunistic, dis-empowered gambling machines. Andre is the Everyman.
Besson makes a case for truth, love - and breathing - as instruments of divine providence. Truth and love can evoke passion for the divine, for life itself.
A cool movie."