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Movie review: Angel



Angel (Romola Garai) is a spoiled, selfish brat who, though she hates reading, decides she wants to write romance novels for a living and refuses to listen to anyone's advice or words of caution. Anyone who dares give any will be not only rebuffed, but peppered with sharp insults and sneers.

At first, because Angel is beautiful and charismatic, she not only gets away with her behavior, but excells, becoming a popular writer and buying the mansion of her dreams. Life, as far as she's concerned, is designed to suit her. And when it doesn't, she can make it that way in her head: her mother isn't a poor grocer, no, she's a brilliant concert pianist, and don't you dare say otherwise!

So when she falls in love with handsome painter Esme (Michael Fassbender, who plays a lot of scummy guys--what's up with that?), of course he'll fit her expectations too. He's not going to be a philanderer, or marry her just for her money, or grow violent and hateful. Not a chance...

I'm sure I've said before how sick of perfect protagonists I am, and I loved how Angel the movie was about a girl too deeply flawed to be reformed, or indeed, to want to reform. Angel was petty and snobbish, unable to see reality, and the story showed consequences for that rather than Mary-Suing her or brushing her sins away.

As entertainment, Angel has a very soap opera-ish quality, which mostly works in its favor, but occassionally went way, way overboard so a few scenes were ridiculous rather than dramatic (Esme and Angel first kiss in pouring rain which just about washes them out to sea). The acting is great all around, the sets and costumes are beautiful. Overall Angel isn't perfect, but it's well done with much more interesting characters than usual for a melodrama.

*

Back to the Master List of movie reviews.

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Samael: Chapter Three, Page Nine

She calmed down and leaned towards him, locking her dark gaze to his lighter one without ever losing that mocking grin. “Come on. You think you can do it?”

Slowly, without a word, Samael drew his gun. The cold metal somehow felt heavier than usual in his hands.

He pressed the barrel gently to Latoya’s forehead, keeping his face straight and solemn, showing neither expression nor emotion.

For a moment the two stared at each other, one with an expression of mirth, the other deadly serious; the faces of comedy and tragedy. Samael wondered what Latoya was thinking, and what she wanted from him.

She leaned forwards, pressing her forehead into the gun until he had to pull it back. Samael didn’t know for sure what she was thinking, but somehow, he wasn’t surprised when she kissed him.

She tasted like peaches and cigarettes. Samael was disappointed when she pulled away, and irritated to see the same smirk still widening her lipstick-reddened mouth.

“There,” she said, leaning back into her seat. “Now I’ve even kissed a murderer.”

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Full review here at JournalStone

Samael: Chapter Three, Page Eight

            Samael had been intrigued enough to follow Latoya to Shiloh’s Best, but he had no plans to get drunk in front of her, nor to drink from anything she wasn’t also drinking from.  Maybe she wasn’t going to hand him over to the police, but by now there were plenty of underworld thugs who’d like to know his name too.

            Latoya downed the shot and smacked her lips.  “So, Mr. Mask, what made poor Mr. Woods need to die?”

            “You knew him?” he asked.

            “Oh yeah.  I had a friend who got raped by, like, six men in an alley.  Woods got them off with tiny fines by arguing the guys hadn’t raped her, they just hadn’t ‘paid her for services.’  Real fucking upstanding citizen.”

            “Mmm…well, that’s not all he did.” Samael drank his shot and dramatically shook his head, making Latoya giggle.  “He’s connected to someone I’m after.”

            “Ah.  A vendetta?” Latoya looked like she understood the concept completely.

            “Yeah.”

            “What’d the dude do, kill your family or something?”

            Samael threw back his head and laughed.  He couldn’t help it.  “Something like that.”

            “Huh.  I was kind of hoping you were Batman—y’know, out to kill the evildoers!” She poured her seventh shot and smirked at Samael as she swirled it around the bottom of her shot glass.  “That way, you could kill me too.”

            Samael somehow felt that he was being challenged…or perhaps that Latoya was playing a game of some kind with him. 

            He leaned back slowly in his plush, white chair and stared at the woman across from him.  She met his gaze without faltering or losing her smile.

            He decided to answer her dare.  “Do you need to be killed?”

            It was her turn to laugh, as though he’d said something unbelievably ignorant.  “Brother, are you joking?  What haven’t I done, eh?”