Angel (2007 film)  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Angel, otherwise known as the Real Life of Angel Deverell, is a 2007 British Film based on a book by Elizabeth Taylor, about the life of a fiery and passionate young writer. The protagonist was portrayed by Romola Garai, director François Ozon's first and only choice for the role. Other characters were played by Sam Neill and Charlotte Rampling, amongst others.

  • Tagline: "A dreary city tenement provides backdrop to this tale of exclusion and the magic it takes to become accepted."


Cast & Crew


  • Romola Garai - Angel Deverell
  • Sam Neill - Théo
  • Lucy Russell - Nora Howe-Nevinson
  • Michael Fassbender - Esmé
  • Charlotte Rampling - Hermione
  • Jacqueline Tong - Mother Deverell
  • Janine Duvitski - Aunt Lottie
  • Christopher Benjamin - Lord Norley
  • Tom Georgeson - Marvell
  • Simon Woods - Clive Fennelly
  • Jemma Powell - Angelica
  • Alison Pargeter - Edwina
  • Seymour Matthews - Norley Doctor
  • Una Stubbs - Miss Dawson
  • Rosanna Lavelle - Lady Irania
  • Geoffrey Streatfield - Sebastian
  • Roger Morlidge - Journalist
  • Teresa Churcher - Governess
  • Alexandre Garcia-Hidalgo - Party Guest
  • Roland Javornik - Party guest
  • David Vanholsbeeck - Wounded Soldier in Cafe


  • Director - François Ozon
  • Writers
    • Martin Crimp (Dialogue)
    • François Ozon (Writer)
    • Elizabeth Taylor (Novel)
  • Producers
    • Olivier Delbosc
    • Christopher Granier-Deferre
    • Genevieve Lemal
    • Alexandre Lippens
    • Marc Missonnier
    • Tanya Seghatchian
  • Composer - Philippe Rombi


The director gave an interview about the film, stating that "the character of Angel was inspired by Marie Corelli, a contemporary of Oscar Wilde and Queen Victoria's favorite writer. Corelli was one of the first writers to become a star, writing bestsellers for an adoring public. Today she has been totally forgotten, even in England." He also mentioned that he considered Olivier Martinez for the role of Esmé, Angel's love interest, and when talking about Lucy Russell, who played Nora, he stated: "I saw a lot of actresses for the role of Nora. During the screen tests, I realized that many of them actually wanted to be Angel. As soon as they'd finish reading, they'd say to me "I could play Angel too, I am Angel!" They had no desire to play a supporting role, whereas Lucy Russell didn't mind. She showed up for her screen test dressed like an old maid, with thick glasses and her hair in a strict bun. She was actually there to play Nora! Of course the role is far less glamorous than that of Angel, but Lucy was smart enough to know that it is often the person in the shadows who gets noticed, even if she's not the one wearing the beautiful dresses. And like Charlotte, Lucy speaks fluent French, so she was my second crutch on the set!"

Reportedly, the outdoor scenes were shot in bitterly cold weather, and the camera would freeze after a few minutes of shooting, and had to be taken inside and warmed up with hot towels before taken outside again. The actors did not mind this as they too got the chance to warm up.


Angel received mixed reviews, with a 50% Fresh rating on [[Rotten Tomatoes], and a 6.1/10 on IMDb. However, Matthew Turner of View London called it a "Enjoyable, impressively directed melodrama that stays just the right side of kitsch and features a superb performance by Romola Garai". Whilst also stating that "The film's biggest problem is that Angel is such a thoroughly obnoxious character that it's impossible to engage with her on an emotional level", he ended saying that "Ozon's films are always worth watching and Angel is no exception, thanks to great direction and a committed performance from Garai."


  • Romola Garai cites this as her proudest piece. When talking about the film and the character, she said: "I think the main challenge is that she's essentially a pretty unattractive person in many ways but you have to approach a character like that believing in them, liking them, trying to understand them and appreciating what their world view is, and so I think that was a challenge occasionally because she wasn't always an easy character to like."

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Angel (2007 film)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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