Talk of Angels
Set in Spain during the tumultuous '30s, this adaptation of Kate O'Brien's once scandalous novel centers around lovely Mary Lavelle (Polly Walker), an Irish girl who becomes a governess for an aristocratic Spanish clan. Mary just wants a little fun, but soon she's caught between the Republican and Fascist ideals held by the family patriarch (Franco Nero) and his wife (Marisa Paredes). To complicate matters, their married, Franco-hating son (Vincent Perez) turns out to be one of those smoldering types convent-educated Mary's only dreamt of.
Wartime ardor can bolster a compelling film or embarrass a weak one. Director Nick Hamm has enough material for either; there are some fine performances, striking locations, and genuine urgency in its depiction of civil war. Had he chosen to flesh out the political and class-related intrigues, he could have created a memorable picture. But because the real action becomes mere backdrop for a pair of furtive, chemistry-free lovers, our frustrations bloom right along with theirs.
Get the Film Club Newsletter
Stay up to date on the best new movies with our critics' latest reviews, interviews and trailers for the films coming to a theater near you each week.
More Film News
- Alex Gibney: Steve Jobs Had the 'Focus of a Monk — Without the Empathy'
- Netflix’s 'Narcos' Tries to Be 'The Wire' for Colombia’s Drug War
- ‘The Second Mother’ Offers a Sharp Brazilian Take on the Upstairs/Downstairs Drama
- The Predictability of Teary Kids Doc 'My Voice, My Life' Doesn't Make It Any Less Powerful