Watch Angela

  • NR
  • 1995
  • 1 hr 39 min
  • 6.3  (1,045)

Angela is a thought-provoking independent film directed by Rebecca Miller, renowned for its insightful exploration of a young girl's perspective as she navigates the complexities of her inner world, family dynamics, and the uncertainty of external realities. The film, released in 1995, became known for addressing heavy themes through the eyes of a child, earning critical acclaim for its narrative depth and the cast's compelling performances, particularly from its young leads.

The film centers on 10-year-old Angela, portrayed with incredible nuance and sensitivity by Miranda Rhyne. Angela is a young girl with an active imagination and a tendency to retreat into her fantasy world, which she uses as a coping mechanism to make sense of the unsettling and confusing environment around her. The film adeptly delves into Angela's mind, allowing audiences to see the world through her eyes, as she struggles with the weight of her thoughts and perceptions.

Angela's personal journey is interwoven with the experiences of her family. Her mother, Mae, played by the talented Anna Thomson, grapples with her own demons and mental instability, a condition that deeply affects Angela and her 6-year-old sister, Ellie, performed by Charlotte Eve Blythe. The portrayal of Mae is a raw and honest depiction of a woman battling with her mental health while trying to maintain a semblance of normalcy for her children. Ellie, in turn, looks up to her older sister as a source of both comfort and guidance, and their sibling relationship becomes a poignant focus within the storyline.

The story unfolds in a somewhat dreamlike manner, oscillating between the harsh reality of Angela's experiences and the rich, distorted fantasies she creates. This interplay serves as a narrative technique to delve into the themes of mental health, childhood innocence, and the escape into imagination that children often utilize when confronted with adult issues they cannot fully comprehend.

As Angela attempts to find solace and meaning in her imaginative world, the audience is taken on a journey that blurs the lines between whimsy and melancholy. She weaves tales and rituals imbued with both religious and magical elements, trying to draw correlations between these narratives and the chaos that surrounds her. Throughout the film, Angela's observations and creations provide a window into how children perceive and process the behavior of adults and the world at large.

Director Rebecca Miller's screenplay engages with deep societal issues, including the stigmatization of mental illness and the impact it has on family dynamics. Angela becomes a mirror reflecting the difficulties her mother faces, as Mae struggles with societal expectations and her internal battle with her psyche. The audience witnesses how this struggle trickles down to Angela and Ellie, who are forced to contend with their mother's unpredictable moods and the instability this brings to their lives.

The film is notable for its starkly beautiful cinematography, which plays a significant role in establishing the film's mood and tone. The backdrop of the film's setting—one that is simultaneously ordinary and infused with an ethereal light—complements Angela's internal world and the contrast between her fantasies and the less forgiving reality in which she lives. The soundtrack also complements the atmosphere, underscoring Angela's emotional state and the overall themes of the film.

Another significant aspect of Angela is the exploration of spirituality and the quest for redemption and meaning in a world that seems to provide little certainty. Angela, in her quest to understand her mother's pain and to "heal" her family, becomes entangled in a mesh of half-understood religious concepts and her own burgeoning spirituality. This exploration is portrayed with a gentle hand, never losing the authenticity of a child's view on such complex and abstract matters.

The performances in Angela are a key factor to its success, with the characters delivering a sense of realism that makes the narrative all the more absorbing. Miranda Rhyne's portrayal of Angela is particularly outstanding; she captures the essence of a child's innocence and confusion as well as their resilience and hope. The supporting cast also bring layers and depth to their roles, making the relationships among the characters compelling and intricately drawn.

In conclusion, Angela stands out as a remarkable film that manages to tackle difficult and mature subject matter through the lens of childhood. It is a work that strikes a balance between the poignant and the poetic, asking its audience to reflect on the ways we both shield and expose ourselves through the stories we tell. The film's portrayal of Angela's journey is one that leaves a lasting impression, highlighting the powerful and sometimes painful process of coming of age and the resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity.

Angela is a 1995 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 39 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.3.

Where to Watch Angela
Angela is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Max and Apple TV Channels, The Roku Channel and Apple TV. Some platforms allow you to rent Angela for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 39 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.3  (1,045)