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Angel-A by Luc Besson (Producer/Director/Writer)
Review by Gayle Surrette
Sony Pictures DVD  ISBN/ITEM#: B000VNMMPM
Date: 20 November 2007 List Price $29.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: Trailer 1 / Offical SIte / Show Official Info /

We're big fans of Luc Besson's films, whether he's lensing an over the top Space Opera (The Fifth Element) or an offbeat Heidi meets Pulp Fiction story (The Professional). Here he tells the story of a woman who fell to Earth and the down-and-out gambler who breaks her fall in a very French version of It's A Wonderful Life. Well, vaguely like it. A little. Did we mention it's very French? Which, with the incredibly sexy Angela (Rie Rasmussen), is a wonderful thing indeed. I was going to review this myself, but Gayle saw it first when it arrived...and that was the end of the discussion. - Ern(Theatrical Release Date: 05/25/2007 - DVD: 11/20/2007)

I knew Ern had asked for the copy of Angel-A that arrived at SFRevu's offices, but since The Fifth Element is one of my favorite films and I liked the interplay of characters in The Professional, I figured what did I have to loose. If I don't like it, I can put it back in the envelope and give it to him like nothing happened. Well, about a 1/3 of a box of tissues later I knew who was doing the review...me.

In Angel-A, André is hitting bottom. He's got nothing left. He owes everyone money and most of them are pretty unsavory types. He can't see anyway out of his troubles and ends up standing on the water side of the bridge railing. That's when he hears a sob and notices that there's a girl a few feet over from him. She jumps and before he knows what he's doing he saves her. Thus begins a strange relationship as Angela and André set about getting the money to pay off André debts.

That's the set up and it's now that we see the talent of Besson come to the fore. So far André has not been a character that we can much care about or for, but in his interactions with Angela, we see a new side of him. André actually is a very moral person and you can see him struggle with Angela's actions. Angela is alive in every sense of the word, she lives for the moment with no thought of the past or the future. She's an enigma -- we don't know where she comes from or what to make of what she says. But she sticks to André and works to help him see the beautiful gentleman that he really is inside. Just as you think you have it all figured out, you find that assumptions can blind us to what is happening, and what we think is happening may not be what happened. Besson is so good at twisting the audiences perceptions and expectations that even when you expect it he surprises you.

It's the give and take between these two and their interactions with others that make this film one you'll want to watch over and over again. It's a bittersweet story where once it ends it's up to the viewer to finish the film in their minds.

If you like tidy neat stories, keep looking, but if you like interesting characters trying to find themselves with no neat endings but a lot of possibilities, then you really need to see Angel-A.

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