Sundance Review: Angel-A

January 25, 2007

One of Luc Besson's final films, Angel-A, is a black and white French language film starring prominently two individuals: André (Jamel Debbouze) and the stunning leggy Angela (Rie Rasmussen). André is an inept scam artist with low self-esteem who owes lots of money and is about to jump off of a bridge, but then sees Angela about to jump as well, when she does, he dives in to save her. Already released in France and pending a release in March here in America, Angel-A is a simple "down and dirty" story about changing your life for the better. It's similar to Besson's The Fifth Element - an attractive woman falls into one man's life and changes him for the better.


Angel-A is a very interesting play on the effect that one beautiful woman has on this man and the stark contrasts between them. It progresses through an entertaining plot where André must discover what's going on in his life and learn more about Angela in just a matter of days. The film features brilliant lines of spoken dialogue that elicit beauty as grand as Angela herself, whether heard in French or read in American as subtitles. All of this is set amidst great black and white cinematic views of Paris through wonderful camerawork. I'm unsure of the choice Besson made for the ending, however it is certainly a fantastic film - a true fit in Besson's collection of phenomenal works; I honestly cannot wait to see it again.

My message to Luc Besson: it will be sad to see you go, as there is something so vastly unique in all of your films, from the message to the style to the look and the vision. You are a director unlike any other and will be certainly missed - if this truly is your last!


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