So put aside your quizzical concern over why Angel Heart merits a special edition DVD (Robert De Niro's performance alone is worth it), and dig back into this quirky project from yesteryear, when we were all scared to death that a cowrie shell or a chicken claw was going to cause bugs to start crawling out of our face. Angel Heart (based on the novel Fallen Angel) is a 1950s period piece and starts out simply enough: An eccentric, sharp-fingernailed man named Louis Cyphre (De Niro) hires private eye Harry Angel (Mickey Rourke) to track down a missing person with whom Cyphre has an old (and unhonored) contract. Rourke's investigation takes him into the seedy underbelly of New Orleans and the Louisiana swamp. Virtually every one Angel speaks to turns up dead within days, but he plows ahead anyway. In the end he hooks up with a young voodoo priestess (Lisa Bonet when she had a career), and, well, the whole thing gets a little kooky. It's hard to write much about the utlimate resolution of Angel Heart without giving too much away, but suffice it to say it's at once obvious and surprising, considering the very thinly-veiled dialogue and unsubtle imagery.
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One treat for you shallow ladies in the crowd (guilty!) is the return of Keanu Reeves as the romantic, studly leading man. He's still as dumb as a post, but he's the fitting hero to such a dumb and implausible tale. He plays Nelson Moss, a hot shot ad man with swank things but too regimented a life to enjoy them. After a fateful run-in with carefree Sarah Deever (Charlize Theron) at the DMV, she tracks him down, and tries to convince him that he should move into her shabby-chic hippie spread for a month to become a better man. Apparently, she's done this sort of thing with other men before him with great success.
Continue reading: Sweet November Review
Swinton herself is an ex-boarding school pupil.