The Face of an Angel

"OK"

The Face of an Angel Review


By taking a fictionalised approach to the Meredith Kercher murder case in Italy, filmmaker Michael Winterbottom sets out to show how tricky it is to find the truth in any case, but he actually ends up proving how impossible it is to make a movie based on complex, unresolved real events. The film has a fascinatingly mysterious tone to it, but never comes together into something the audience can properly engage with, mixing big themes with bizarre filmmaking flourishes that only serve as a distraction.

It centres on Thomas (Daniel Bruhl), a London-based filmmaker who flies to Sienna to make a movie about the case of a student (Genevieve Gaunt) who's been charged with brutally killing her flatmate (Sai Bennett). Thomas immediately locates the foreign press corps, which hangs out together to cynically discuss the case. And he starts working with Simone (Kate Beckinsale), who's writing a true crime book. But Thomas is worried that there are too many layers to the story for a movie, and he becomes increasingly confused after consulting with Edoardo (Valerio Mastandrea), an expert on the case who also wants to be a screenwriter. To try to find the root of what happened, Thomas hires the sexy young Melanie (Cara Delevingne) to show him around town.

All of this is complicated by the fact that Thomas has a coke addiction and is reading Dante's Inferno, which combines with his imagination to cause freak-out hallucinations that make everything even murkier. Winterbottom builds this atmosphere beautifully, but falls short of establishing the fever-dream style of an Italian Giallo horror movie. This is mainly because he's trying to have it both ways, creating a wildly disorienting mystery while at the same time trying to make a pointed comment on how the media exploit a personal tragedy.

The cast is fine in complicated roles. Bruhl gives Thomas an inner curiosity even as the character becomes increasingly fragmented. Beckinsale offers some sharp intelligence even if her character is essentially irrelevant. And Delevingne shows terrific screen presence in her first major role, even if Melanie also has little impact on the story. Winterbottom's central idea is that it's impossible to accurately get to the heart of true events even with a news camera, because the general public will always take the side of the prettiest people on display. It's a provocative approach to the subject matter that makes the film worth seeing, especially with a dramatic kick that shifts the focus to the victim and her family. But everything's been so muddled by then that the point is almost lost.


The Face of an Angel Trailer

 



The Face of an Angel

Facts and Figures

Genre: Dramas

Run time: 101 mins

In Theaters: Friday 19th June 2015

Production compaines: Multitrade, BBC Films, cattleya

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 60%
Fresh: 6 Rotten: 4

IMDB: 5.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Starring: as Simone Ford, as Melanie, as Thomas, Ava Acres as Bea, as Steve, as Katherine, Corrado Invernizzi as Francesco, Genevieve Gaunt as Jessica Fuller, Sai Bennett as Elizabeth Pryce

Contactmusic


Advertisement

New Movies

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

xXx: Return of Xander Cage Movie Review

xXx: Return of Xander Cage Movie Review

It's been 15 years since Vin Diesel walked away from his XXX role, killing off...

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Live By Night Movie Review

Live By Night Movie Review

Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's...

La La Land Movie Review

La La Land Movie Review

After storming awards season with Whiplash two years ago, writer-director Damien Chazelle returns with something...

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Hopes were high that this film might finally crack the curse of movies based on...

Advertisement
Silence Movie Review

Silence Movie Review

Faith is a topic Martin Scorsese can't quite shake, courting controversy with complex films like...

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A difficult movie to market, this isn't actually the BFG-style fantasy adventure it looks like....

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Word has it that a 4-year-old came up with the idea for this unapologetically silly...

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Dramas exploring the nature of death and the true meaning of life are always in...

Paterson Movie Review

Paterson Movie Review

Unpredictable filmmaker Jim Jarmusch ricochets from his artful vampire movie Only Lovers Left Alive into...

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

At 80 years old, British filmmaker Ken Loach won his second Cannes Film Festival with...

Why Him? Movie Review

Why Him? Movie Review

Writer-director John Hamburg continues to recycle the formula that made his first hit Meet the...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.