From award winning director Rebecca Miller comes this poignant coming-of-age story about a young girl caught between the harsh realities of a difficult family life and the fantasy world she escapes to inside her head. Winn... more »er of the Grand Jury Prize at Sun« less
Elizabeth R. (escr) from URBANA, IL Reviewed on 5/1/2011...
Just FYI, this is a lovely magical-realist film about childhood experiences told from the perspective of a 10 year old child....but if you are expecting anything resembling horror, this is not your film. It has more fantasy elements than anything. Mental illness and hallucinations, perhaps, but not horror elements.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
M. Crawford | the South, USA | 08/25/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I enjoy discovering obscure, little known films that turn out to be little gems and hidden teasures of cinematic art. You almost have to find these films by accident to be aware of them. WALKABOUT is one. PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK is another. ANGELA can be added to the list of these pleasant surprises. I think it would be very difficult to verbally describe what this film is about in such a way to prepare a prospective viewer as to what to expect. I read the reviews and customer comments and must admit the film was completely different than my preconceived notions had led me to believe. The only thing I could say is it is about two little girls and how the depression and mental illness of their mother influence and affect their view of the world in which they live. Usually I prefer crisp, brightly and clearly filmed movies. This one has a murky, grainy quality to it that I would usually abhor. However I realized after viewing it that this murky graininess contributed significantly to the mood and atmosphere of the film. The music that was chosen also contributed to this atmosphere. One who is offended by child nudity should probably avoid ANGELA, as the filmmaker obviously had no qualms about showing both girls (10 and 6) in more than a few scenes in sundry stages of nakedness. Nevertheless, these scenes (casual, spontaneous),just as the graininess and music, also contributed to forming the interesting atmosphere of the film. It would have suffered if any of these mood-setting devices had been omitted. Hats off to Rebecca Miller for ANGELA, a unique and wonderfully made gem that I would highly recommend."
Plays out like an urban fantasy.
Joel Munyon | Joliet, Illinois - the poohole of America. | 10/06/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I watched this film a few years ago and have never forgotten it. In it, we have two pre-teen sisters who are trying to deal with the mental state of their mother, which is getting worse and worse with each passing day. Their father is an endearing man, although a bit permissive, and does his best to hold the rocky family together.
The film takes a strange turn into what many conclude is our protagonist's (a girl named Angela) own slide into mental illness. I'm not sure that's the case, as I find reason to believe some aspects of her visions might have very well been true, but the point is that she's a tormented soul and finds escapism through a vivid imagination and a self-made quest that frees her mind from what's currently happening. This is a quest for purification from the evil of the world, one that she brings her sister along for the ride, and one that finds a handsome, peaceful Lucifer as their largest obstacle. He simply states to her on numerous times, "I want you, Angela" in a very gentle, yet thouroughly dark way.
Eventually, Angela's quest, with her young sister at her side, takes her across the back roads of her town. Her firm belief in her journey makes her the near victim of a crime as well as the viewer of some very bizarre happenings. In the end, Angela decides to face her fears directly.
The end of this film will leave you in awe."
A Cinematic Masterpiece
bloody_dove | TX, United States | 05/05/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie sent chills down my spine even after the twentieth time of seeing it. Excellent architecture, this movie portrays imagination in a light that leaves you a little unsure of the diagnosis. It left me wondering if the magical things that happened to these girls was real or really in their imaginations.It also allowed me to see a wierd, dark side of childhood again, like what I went through, circumstances that made survival and coping palpable and no longer hidden. I reccommend everyone see this movie at least once. Maybe the things hidden in this movie were unintentional, but there are layers to sort through."
Superior film and wonderful young heroine
Wingless Wizard | IL, USA | 12/29/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"You never know for sure what a film will be like when you order it. Sometimes you are pleased, sometimes not. Angela is truly a superior film and it exceeeded my expectations. The storyline took a sad turn with the mental instability of Angela's mother and how she had to be placed in an institution. However, I was more than uplifted by the job done by the girl who played Angela and how she kept seeking God and Heaven. Miranda Stuart Rhyne's performance was most enchanting. This is the best movie that I have bought from Amazon to date. I really felt for Angela as she fought her nightmares and kept on her spiritual journey. I will watch this movie again and again and that is not something that I do very often. The young teen actress did a better acting job here than most actors and actresses do that are two or three times her age! She should have a spectacular film career ahead of her! I highly recommend this movie!"
Eerie and thought-provoking
David Lloyd Martin | 02/13/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Rebecca Miller's haunting tale of a young girl driven by her religious obsessions into a frightening world of hallucinogenic images and superstitious delusion. There are touching performances by the two principal girl actors, Miranda Stuart Rhyne and Charlotte Eve Blythe. Rhyne, in particular, is engaging as the young protagonist caught in a heavenly struggle between good and evil to save her mentally ill mother. She convincingly portrays Angela as a determined and feisty but naive and vulnerable child in equal measure; someone who is headstrong but literally open to abuse.
There is a fine director's commentary narrated by Miller exploring the themes and motivations that went into the making of the film."