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An Angel at My Table - Criterion Collection
An Angel at My Table - Criterion Collection
Actors: Kerry Fox, Alexia Keogh, Karen Fergusson, Iris Churn, Jessie Mune
Director: Jane Campion
Genres: Drama
R     2005     2hr 38min

With An Angel at My Table, Academy AwardŽ?winning filmmaker Jane Campion brings to the screen the harrowing true story of Janet Frame, New Zealand?s most distinguished author. The film follows Frame along her inspiring jou...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Kerry Fox, Alexia Keogh, Karen Fergusson, Iris Churn, Jessie Mune
Director: Jane Campion
Creators: Stuart Dryburgh, Veronika Jenet, Bridget Ikin, John Maynard, Janet Frame, Laura Jones
Genres: Drama
Sub-Genres: Drama
Studio: Criterion
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 09/20/2005
Original Release Date: 01/01/1990
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1990
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 2hr 38min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 13
Edition: Criterion Collection
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

valeska_ | The Pacific Northwest | 08/11/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Based on the autobiographies of Janet Frame. And from director Jane Campion (The Piano) This is a wonderful portrait of the New Zealand author. Who was misdiagnosed as schizophrenic, she endured numerous treaments of electric shock therapy (over 200!) Spent eight traumatic years in a mental institution. And came very close to having a lobotomy!It would be years before she would find the diagnosis of schizophrenia was wrong. This movie examines Janet's early life to adulthood. A very hard childhood hampered by poverty. And many tragedies. Her older sister, Myrtle, drowned when Janet was young. One of her other sisters Isabel died (also by drowning!) when Janet was in college. And her older brother suffered from epilesy. In a time when there was not more they could do about it. He often had seizures, made him a vulnerable target for bullies at school, and it left him unfit for most work. And Janet herself suffered with terribly painful decaying teeth, she had to have ALL of them pulled at a very young age.After her thankful release from the hospital she then went on a trip, first to England then to Spain. Where she met a young American poet, who she would formed her first relationship with.It is a long film, but don't let that discourage you. There is never a dull moment. It's a facinating story. It's visually beautiful. Filled with tragedy but also funny and wonderfully touching moments. And the performances are fabulous. About an incredible woman who wasn't schizophrenic...just "different" It's always remained one of my favorite films, the kind I can watch over and over."
Stunning, hauntingly brilliant.
Golden Girls fan | Alabama, USA | 04/19/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"As a writer I can clearly understand the world Janet Frame lived in growing up. I myself was sent to a shrink for being a writer as well as for being shy and introverted. However, this is an outstanding drama of human proportions. It echoes forthcoming images of what Campion did with "The Piano" three years after she made this film. The life of Janet Frame is beautifully realized from her youthful days with a lower-class family, suffering heartbreak, loss, labeled as insane, and finding ultimate redemption in her talent as a writer. The film explores both her personal and social conflicts as well as with the men who changed her life and stirred her emotions. Very few writers and directors can ever tell a story so vividly real and powerful as Campion and Laura Jones have done here. It should offer hope and strength to those who have great dreams of success in this life yet feel mowed down by overnight sensations and those who threaten to tear down their goals. The music score adds to the emotion this film evokes. The world of a writer was never more stunningly pictured than how it is here. I highly recommend this film, especially to my fellow writers out there in this world. It is a gem of a film from one of the most gifted writers and directors our movie industry has ever known."
Genius in the Family
I. Rodriguez | 04/27/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"A unique and original work from a gifted film artist. It tells the story of Janet Frame, one of New Zealand's most important writers. The film follows Janet's life from the time she's a small girl in school, trying to buy friends with candy, to the adult, painfully shy introvert played by Kerry Fox. It is an insightful look at the life of a woman who finally learns to appreciate herself. Remarkable."
Tom S. | New York City | 06/28/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Writers, take note: Here is a very, very rare example of the creative spirit--and the creative process--captured on film. This story of the formative years of Janet Frame, New Zealand's most celebrated poet and novelist, is fascinating from start to finish.

Director Jane Campion's great achievement (aided immeasurably by three marvelous actresses playing Janet Frame at various ages) is to bring to a wide audience a sense of what it is like to be a creative artist. Watch Janet throughout her odd, harrowing, uplifting early years, and you will see the evolution of a true genius, a human sponge who soaks up all her experiences (good and bad) and converts them into gorgeous words. Rarely has a film been able to illustrate this so convincingly.

I recommend this film to anyone interested in the nature of genius. But for writers, in particular, it is required viewing."