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Film Review: Angel Of Mine

Director:    Kim Farrant

Cast:    Noomi Rapace, Yvonne Strahovski, Luke Evans, Richard Roxburgh, Emily Gruhl, Annika Whiteley, Finn Little

Rating:    MA

Running Time:    97

Australian Distributor:      R&R Films

 

“Angel of Mine” is a disturbing maternal thriller which constantly unnerves us through a number of dark, intense moments of grief and obsession. Although there are several deficient spots including its rather contrived finale, the movie mostly works thanks to another compelling performance from its very talented lead performer, and you will often brace yourself as watching its troubled heroine driven further into her emotional darkness step by step.

When we see Lizzie (Noomi Rapace) at the beginning of the story, we instantly sense that something is not quite right about her, and the movie gradually reveals to us how problematic her life has been. While she has managed to work at a local cosmetic shop day by day, she has been letting herself isolated from others including her ex-husband and their son, and we are not so surprised to see her having another session with her therapist later in the story.

As we wonder what happened to Lizzie in the past, the movie slowly begins to dial up the level of tension when she happens to come across a little young girl at a party for one of her son’s friends. For some reason, Lizzie finds herself becoming quite fixated on that girl, and we soon see her approaching to that girl and her mother Claire (Yvonne Strahovski), who warmly welcomes Lizzie into her house when Lizzie shows a fake interest in buying it.

After that point, Lizzie comes to spend more time with Claire and her daughter, and there eventually comes a moment revealing Lizzie’s hidden motive. Some years ago, she lost her baby daughter due to the horrible accident at a local hospital which is incidentally the same place where Claire’s daughter was born around that time, and Claire’s daughter somehow reminds Lizzie a lot of her lost baby daughter.   

Lizzie eventually comes to believe that Claire’s daughter is actually hers, and we accordingly get a series of uncomfortable scenes including the one where she attempts to get closer to Claire’s daughter right before Claire’s daughter does her ballet performance along with her schoolmates in front of their parents.

While she may be well aware of how she is seriously obsessed with Claire’s daughter, Lizzie cannot help herself as behaving more like a stalker, and it is really disturbing to see when she tries to have a little private time with Claire’s daughter at one point despite the warning from Claire, who belatedly comes to learn more about Lizzie and understandably becomes quite determined to protect her daughter by any means necessary.

The film keenly develops with a great amount of tension and we keep dreading what may eventually happen between Lizzie and Claire.   

In addition, the movie is anchored well by the solid lead performance from Noomi Rapace, a wonderful Swedish actress who has advanced a lot since her memorable breakthrough performance in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” (2009) and its following two sequels.

While Luke Evans and Richard Roxburgh do not have many things to do as being stuck with their rather underdeveloped characters, Yvonne Strahovski, who recently became more notable thanks to her Emmy-nominated supporting turn in acclaimed TV series “The Handmaid’s Tale”, is effective as a counterpoint to Rapace, and young performers Finn Little and Annika Whiteley are also fine as holding their own little place well around Rapace and Strahovski.

Although susceptible to  plausibility issues, Angel Of Mine is carried by an emotionally resonating performance from Noomi Rapace who brings out the best from her supporting cast. Director Kim Farrant creates an eerie atmosphere that craves a sense of mystery. What unfolds is an intriguing psychological thriller that provides a few unexpected twists.

 



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