The Face of an Angel

Film, Drama
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The Face of an Angel

This is a ghostly and slippery sideways glance at the murder of the British student Meredith Kercher in Italy in 2007 – a crime that fellow students Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito seem to have been convicted and cleared of ad infinitum ever since. But it’s also a film directed by Michael Winterbottom (‘The Look of Love’, ‘24 Hour Party People’). So, instead of dealing directly with the murder, Winterbottom and writer Paul Viragh (‘Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll’) give us a filmmaker, Thomas (Daniel Brühl), who travels to the Tuscan city of Siena to research a film on the case.

Thomas comes face to face with a predatory media pack and has something close to a breakdown in the process. Like all good middle-age male breakdowns, this one involves an encounter (chaste, though) with a beautiful young woman – an English barmaid played with ease and charm by Cara Delevingne: her character represents the youthful spirit cut dead by the murder, but also sheds light on Thomas’s own fractured family background. ‘The Face of an Angel’ ties itself up in some strange knots, and the more pedestrian scenes in London, as Thomas meets with producers and potential financiers, jar a little with the haunting gothic atmosphere that Winterbottom conjures up in Siena. But the film’s layered, enquiring, half-formed and unknowing vibe feels fitting in the context of a tragic real-life story that has inspired all sorts of hysteria and unfounded opinion.

By: Dave Calhoun


Release details

Release date: Friday March 27 2015
Duration: 100 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Michael Winterbottom
Screenwriter: Paul Viragh
Cast: Kate Beckinsale
Daniel Brühl
Cara Delevingne

Average User Rating

4 / 5

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David G

A surprisingly interesting and compelling film that draws you into it's sinister drama.This is not Sienna full of bright light and sunshine,but rather one of pervasive dark oppressive gloom.Narrow alleyways and unlit rooms.A writer tormented by how to re-tell a story unfolding in real life before him. Beckinsale is miscast.She seems too much of the Hollywood wives to be convincing.All that big hair and glossiness does not really adhere well to the other sullen dishevelled characters.It is the Italian actors speaking in quiet English that stand out in this film.A thoughtful film for the discerning