The Face of an Angel Screen 7 articles

The Face of an Angel

2014

The Face of an Angel Poster
  • In Winterbottom’s The Face of an Angel, a German filmmaker (Daniel Brühl) with family troubles comes to Italy to write a screenplay about a real-life murder modeled closely on the Amanda Knox case, only to discover… that we can never be certain of the truth. No shit. Maybe Winterbottom thought he was making Zodiac, but that TIFF had to fill out this section with borderline hackwork came as a distinct shock.

  • Michael Winterbottom’s feature The Face Of An Angelis fully aware of its own redundancy, to the point where it’s about the difficulty of finding a fresh approach to the case, which doesn’t make it any less superfluous. What it does do, in fact, is take the tabloid zip out of a lurid story of sex and death without adding anything of substance to compensate, which may make the film classier than other takes on the Knox phenomenon, but also makes it infinitely duller.

  • Rambling, frustrating and wholly uninvolving, “The Face of an Angel” (based on Barbie Latza Nadeau’s nonfiction account of the murder) swarms with ideas that have no place to land.

  • As a mystery thriller, The Face of an Angel is a complete non-starter, mostly by design... The film does occasionally show a pulse when it tries to reimagine the life of the victim — when it turns the tables on the mystery and tries to become a film about love and life, instead of doom and death. But it’s too little, too late, and too lame.

  • To get at the heart of what’s wrong with “The Face of an Angel” all you need to do is consider the professional stones it takes to adapt the Amanda Knox case into yet another movie about the existential/amorous crises of a white male filmmaker.

  • An inert, watery fictionalisation of the Meredith Kercher case, refashioned by the director as a somewhat self-congratulatory tale of one film-maker’s thwarted quest for the heart of the story. Winterbottom is often a victim of his own productivity; this is a particularly ragged, unfinished-looking effort.

  • Midway through the film, Thomas says his own film will be "a dream or a nightmare," as if the two are synonymous. Perhaps they are for Winterbottom, who's made a film that plays reasonably as the true-crime thriller many will be expecting, but more overtly as a genuine attempt to construct a philosophical treatise tinged with elements of self-diagnosis.

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