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An Angel at My Table Movie Review

awards bad jane campion

Jane Campion's An Angel at My Table began life as a three-part series on New Zealand television, which (dare I say this?) is the best way to see this 157-minute movie. After all, it is based on three different autobiographical novels by Janet Frame, To the Island, An Angel at My Table, and The Envoy from Mirror City. Kerry Fox plays Frame, who was misdiagnosed as a schizophrenic and spent eight years in a mental institution receiving electroshock therapy before the error was corrected. Extremely well acted and directed, An Angel at My Tableis nonetheless very heavy going all at once—especially first thing in the morning, which is when most reviewers see new movies. This explains (if not excuses) all the bad tempers and bad manners one is likely to observe at press screenings. An Angel at My Table won many awards all over the world, but then so did Breaking the Waves and any number of worthy candidates which are long, depressing, and make you feel like a heel for wanting to watch Sullivan's Travels instead.

1989 (R) 157m/C NZ Kerry Fox, Alexia Keogh, Karen Fergusson, Iris Churn, K.J. Wilson, Martyn Sanderson; D: Jane Campion; W: Laura Jones; C: Stuart Dryburgh. Independent Spirit Awards ‘92: Best Foreign Film. VHS

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