Written and directed by Mitchell Lichtenstein, Angelica is based on the book of the same name by Arthur Phillips.
Angelica is set in Victorian London, and through flashback we meet an innocent shop girl named Constance (Jena Malone) who falls in love and marries Dr. Joseph Barton (Ed Stoppard), a medical researcher. Their difference in social class is something the movie successfully explores with both their own difficulties and how others react to them. A clear picture of the class wars that existed in those times.
Constance is a stranger to sex but this soon ends as she explores it greatly with her husband. Unfortunately their passion is cut short after the life-threatening birth of daughter Angelica. The birth was apparently so dangerous both mother and daughter nearly lost their lives. The doctors advise Constance to a life of abstinence if she wishes to not put her life at risk once more.
This sexual repression leads to conflict between husband and wife which in turn brings a supernatural disruption into the house which Constance battles alongside spiritualist Anne Montague (Janet McTeer).
Verdict: 5/10 Whilst the differences in social classes are something that are highlighted greatly, the supernatural element of the film has little impact. It does not scare or inform, it merely underplays the director’s vision that results in a conclusion that has little impact on the viewer. All the pieces are in place for this movie from cast, set, and skill behind the camera, yet it fails to rise above an average period drama.
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