ANGEL

It remains to be seen if audiences will embrace the new, lushly melodramatic film by François Ozon (Swimming Pool), based on a novel by British author Elizabeth Taylor. Romola Garai plays Angel, a girl raised over a grocery store who writes a novel in her teens and is catapulted to fame and fortune. It's obvious that she was the Barbara Cartland of her time, turning out ludicrously overblown novels devoured by the public. She falls for a caddish but handsome artist, Esmé (Michael Fassbender), while Esmé's sister Nora (Lucy Russell) becomes Angel's slavishly devoted secretary, hopelessly in love with Angel. The movie spans wars, disaster and tragedy as the sweeping soundtrack swells and the costumes become more and more operatic. Sam Neill and Charlotte Rampling are divine as the publisher and his wife, but it’s hard to work up even camp affection for such an infuriating central character.

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