Angels & Insects

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"An elegant seduction. An erotic deception. A stunning revelation."
  • R
  • 1995
  • 1 hr 56 min
  • 6.8  (4,789)

Angels & Insects is a period drama film from 1995 that tells the story of a naturalist named William Adamson, played by Mark Rylance. The film is based on the novella "Morpho Eugenia" by A.S. Byatt, who won the Booker Prize in 1990. The film is set in Victorian England and follows William Adamson as he returns from his travels abroad, where he has been collecting insects and studying the natural world. He meets and falls in love with a wealthy woman named Eugenia Alabaster, played by Patsy Kensit, who lives in a grand estate in the English countryside. Eugenia is an amateur naturalist herself and is fascinated by William's work.

As William becomes more involved with the Alabaster family, he begins to uncover dark secrets about their past and their present. He also becomes embroiled in the complicated relationships between Eugenia and her family members, including her domineering brother, Edgar, played by Douglas Henshall. Meanwhile, William's own status as an outsider in the upper-class world of the Alabasters is highlighted when he learns of the family's interest in eugenics and their belief in the superiority of their own bloodline.

Throughout the film, the theme of nature versus civilization is explored through William's work as a naturalist and his relationships with the Alabaster family. As William becomes more involved with the family, he is forced to confront his own beliefs about nature, evolution, and class hierarchy.

The film's cinematography is stunning, showcasing the natural beauty of the English countryside and the intricate details of the Victorian era. The costume design is also exceptional, transporting the viewer to a time when elegance and formality were paramount.

The performances in the film are top-notch, especially from Mark Rylance, who won the Best Actor award at the 1996 Cannes Film Festival for his portrayal of William Adamson. Kristin Scott Thomas gives a nuanced and complex performance as Matty Crompton, a member of the Alabaster family who is shunned by society for her scandalous past.

Overall, Angels & Insects is a rich and thought-provoking film that explores themes of love, nature, and class in Victorian England. Its stunning visuals and outstanding performances make it a must-see for anyone interested in period dramas or A.S. Byatt's work.

Angels & Insects
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 56 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.8  (4,789)