Welcome to At the Movies with Bebb, which will be a regular Wednesday blog (unless I get lazy/go camping/am lying on a beach somewhere...). I don't pretend to be Margaret and David, (though I like to think I have better dress sense) but I still love writing movie reviews. Movies are one of my passions. In At the Movies with Bebb I'll discuss all sorts of movies...any new releases I've seen at the cinema, as well as movies that I've rented and old favourites from my collection. To get us started....
'Angel Baby' (1995)
I love a good Australian movie. This one has been around for a while but is well worth checking out. 'Angel Baby' scooped 7 Australian Film Awards in 1995, for Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director, Best Film, Best Original Screenplay, Best Editing and Best Cinematography. Not bad!
Harry (John Lynch, who you may remember as Gwyneth Paltrow's cheating boyfriend in Sliding Doors) and Kate (Jacqueline Mackenzie) are two schizophrenics who meet at their therapy centre. They quickly fall into a passionate love affair and move in together, to the consternation of Harry's brother Morris (Colin Friels, who almost but not quite nails an English accent) and Morris's wife Louise (Deborra-Lee Furness, in her pre-Hugh Jackman days). Kate believes she is guided by her guardian angel, Astral, who Kate is convinced sends her messages- through the answers on 'Wheel of Fortune', which she diligently watches every day. Everything seems to be going well for the exuberant couple, with Harry securing a full-time job and Kate enjoying her housewife role, until Kate falls pregnant and they decide to stop taking their medication...
Watching this film, it is easy to understand why it won all the 'big' AFI awards. The leads are believable and throw themselves into their roles completely. I love the use of light, darkness and colour- it truly is a visually stunning film. The support cast, mainly Colin Friels and Deborra-Lee Furness, do an accurate job of depicting family members who have dealt with a loved one's mental illness for years, though as I mentioned Colin Friels doesn't quite have a handle on the British accent which can be slightly distracting at times. The script is well-crafted and it's very easy to lose yourself in the plot. The director, Michael Rymer, has created a beautiful yet heartbreaking love story that sheds light on a mental illness that is suffered by many yet is rarely discussed so openly in the movie world. It is a very sad movie and the ending is quite ambiguous. I watched it twice after renting it a few weeks ago and had a different conclusion to the ending both times.
I highly recommend this movie if you like a character-driven, thought provoking movie and appreciate a good Aussie film.
My rating- 4.5 out of 5 stars.