Review - "An Angel at My Table" (1990) (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

WriterDave By WriterDave, 29th May 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Reviews>Film & TV>Biography

New Zealand has become a great place to make movies thanks in part to its exotic locales and the popularity of "Lord of the Rings" director, Peter Jackson. Lest we not forget however, that Jane Campion also hails from said country, and has a decidedly different approach to film making.

The Other Side of New Zealand

“An Angel at My Table” is the story of Janet Frame, the writer/author/poet, who came from New Zealand. Her tale is an engaging one; from her hectic life with multiple siblings, into her adulthood, all the while suffering from crippling shyness but with a unique integrity. The film charts her misdiagnosed medical ailment and eventual widespread acknowledgement of her genius. This beautifully photographed film was directed by Jane Campion, who also helmed, “The Piano.”

Kerry Fox is cast as the adult Miss Frame, and she does a wonderful job capturing Frame’s awkwardness and plain-speaking attitude. This was incidentally Fox’s first movie role, which speaks all the more for her natural talent. Fox also appeared in Campion’s later work, “Bright Star,” which unfortunately tanked at the box office and may be one of the reasons Campion has focused her attention on television.

Campion possesses a true artist’s vision and her films usually feature strong female characters who must struggle in the face of a world which demands conformity. Often her characters seek their own way as in “The Portrait of a Lady” or concentrate on the dynamics of family and friends, as in “Sweetie” and “Two Friends.” Her movies are both thought-provoking, and romantic in the literal and also classic sense of the word.


Jane Campion, Janet Frame, Kerry Fox

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author avatar WriterDave
Writing can be many things to many people. For me, it is a way of expression and understanding. Reviewing films, hopefully helps myself and others better understand and get more out of the film.

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