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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Angel-A

Posted on Thu, Jul 12, 2007 at 4:00 AM

***
Angel-A
Studio: Sony Pictures Classics
Rated: R
Cast: Jamel Debbouze, Rie Rasmussen
Director: Luc Besson
WorkNameSort: Angel-A
Our Rating: 3.00
Since it's just a rehashed amalgam of It's a Wonderful Life and Wings of Desire (with a little Girl on the Bridge thrown in), it's surprising Luc Besson's heavenly love story Angel-A works at all. It's compelling largely due to its appealing cast ' Jamel Debbouze as a lowlife American in Paris who's in debt to every thug on the street, and Rie Rasmussen as the angel-in-slut-garb sent to save him the moment he's about to jump into the Seine. Besson shoots the film in lush, Cinemascope black-and-white, as much a love letter to the city as anything in Paris, Je T'aime. For these reasons, it's easy to enjoy this metaphysical chatfest despite its cornball core, and even when it morphs from a noir to a hoky romance. Angel-A is an odd bit of optimistic whimsy for Besson, a change of pace that makes you wonder if the film's glaring derivations of previous angel fantasies didn't usurp his own original voice.

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