New on DVD: Angel

A tale of getting everything on your wish list, then watching it slip away.

Angel (Romola Garai) is a small town girl with big city aspirations. Claiming to read very little and have few life experiences, Angel has the uncanny ability to imagine then vividly write Austen-esque novels that capture the hearts and minds of her readers. She quickly rises to the top, gaining fame and fortune, which eventually lures the man she loves into her grasp. However, her journey is skewed by her fantastical will and unfounded snobbery. As her world begins to crumble, so does her hold on reality.

Garai is wonderful in this role. She perfectly exemplifies Angel's childish naiveté and womanly determination. As the centre around which the film must revolve, Garai appears quite capable. The supporting cast is a mix of French and English actors, all of whom hold their own.

The story is based on a novel by Elizabeth Taylor (not the one that gets married a lot). The costumes and sets are lovely. Its epic proportions are undoubtedly displayed on the screen but at a little over two hours, it could have done with some trimming. Otherwise, as it is, it could be a good two-part television event.

There are two DVD special features. The first is a 26-minute making-of featurette that slides between French and English dialogue describing the material and working in both languages on an English picture. The second is an 8-minute interview with Garai which adds little to the featurette.

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