New Zealand poet Janet Frame is the subject of Jane Campion's biographical drama, which presents a poetically evocative look at the authoress' turbulent life. The film begins with a look at Frame's childhood, showing her as a bright but odd-looking, emotionally fragile young girl with a knack for writing. Frame faces great difficulty in adapting to the conventional rural life around her, and her social awkwardness only worsens as she grows older. After she fails in her attempt to become a schoolteacher due to an intense panic attack, she is subject to a psychiatric evaluation and shamefully misdiagnosed as a schizophrenic. Frame is subsequently committed to a mental institution, where she suffers years of unnecessary shock treatments and other horrors. Her salvation comes through her writings, however, which attract the attention of a renowned author who arranges her release. While the nightmare of Frame's institutionalization is presented with great sensitivity and power, Campion and screenwriter Laura Jones, to their credit, refuse to simplify her story to this one pivotal event. Instead, they pay equal attention to Frame's subsequent life, as she slowly adjusts life in the outside world, experiencing literary success and her first romance. Expressive visuals add immeasurably to the total effect, while Kerry Fox's superb performance creates a truly affecting portrait of Frame. Impressively, the film was originally made as a mini-series for New Zealand television, and slightly reedited for a later theatrical release.
New, restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised by director of photography Stuart Dryburgh and approved by director Jane Campion; New Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack; Audio commentary featuring Campion, Dryburgh and actress Kerry Fox; A 10-minute documentary about the making of An Angel at My Table; 6 deleted scenes; My Say, an audio interview with Janet Frame from 1983; Original theatrical trailer; Stills gallery; Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing; Plus a 40 page booklet
Disc #1 -- Angel at My Table 1. To the Is-Land [4:14] 2. Making Friends [5:10] 3. Outsiders [3:52] 4. Poppy [3:21] 5. A Poem [3:18] 6. Discoveries [6:16] 7. A New Friend [6:34] 8. "Where's Myrtle?" [5:48] 9. "I'm Going to be a Poet" [5:06] 10. Changes [8:09] 11. Training College and University [5:01] 12. Isabel Arrives [6:16] 13. "Face-to-Face With the Future" [4:05] 14. Stage Fright [4:46] 15. Hospital [5:15] 16. Diagnosis [2:23] 17. Another Tragedy [3:15] 18. Shock Treatment [2:56] 19. Publication [2:39] 20. Frank Sargeson [5:59] 21. A Literary Grant [5:42] 22. Europe [3:07] 23. Ibiza, Spain [8:51] 24. Una Escritora [3:34] 25. An American Arrives [4:54] 26. Boyfriend [2:54] 27. Grief [8:19] 28. New Diagnosis [7:00] 29. Going Home [8:43] 30. "Hush Hush Hush" [4:36] 31. Color Bars [5:54] 1. Toilet [:30] 2. Jump Rope [:35] 3. In the Garden [:34] 4. The Departure [:48] 5. An Encounter in London [:18] 6. Staying There [:26]
Disc #1 -- Angel at My Table Play the Movie Chapters Commentary Commentary: On/Off Supplements The Making of An Angel at My Table Play Deleted Scenes Play Index Trailer My Say: An Interview With Janet Frame Play Stills Gallery
Criterion Collection: Angel At My Table 5 out of 5based on
More than 1 year ago
I felt compelled to watch An Angel At My Table after seeing it on a list of recommended films about writers. Additionally, I feel very strongly in my soul, regardless of what some of my well- meaning critics may say, that it is part of my destiny to become a writer on the side. I intend to write and publish under an alias and/or pen name and credit countless people for inspiring me (such as a recent encouraging e-mail pertaining to authorship that I received from Sean Malarkey). Still, I found An Angel At My Table motivational because this movie centers around the true life story of a woman named Janet Frame (played by Kerry Fox) who enjoys a distinguished career as a writer despite acting different from other ladies who lived around the same time period (including her biological female family members). Sadly, she is at first misdiagnosed to be schizophrenic and almost ends up having to undergo a complete lobotomy. I must leave out how she gets out of this situation for those who have yet to see An Angel At My Table. However, from my perspective, this film captures in a humane and brilliant way the highs and lows of her life. Divided into three parts, this film captures moments such as when she first falls in love and another scene where she ends up getting romantically swept off her feet by another accomplished individual. Part one transitions into part two via the action point of her going off to college. Part two to three makes the transition of her going abroad from New Zealand to England and then to Spain. Quotes from the Shakespeare play of The Tempest and another quote from Robert Burns of Duncan Gray are featured in the movie transitions.
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