ANGEL OF MINE – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

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Angel of Mine sets us up to expect a nightmarish conclusion, something that is a cross between Vertigo and Fatal Attraction. Except the object of desire is a child and her obsessed stalker is a grieving mother whose life fell apart after her baby daughter died in a hospital fire seven years ago. That director Kim Farrant and writers Luke Davies (Lion) and David Regal actually deliver a surprise ending that crazily unfolds in a white-bread Melbourne suburb is one of their maternal thriller’s greatest strengths.

The other is the casting of Noomi Rapace as Lizzie, whose infant’s death landed her in a mental hospital, led to a divorce from her fed-up husband (Luke Evans), forces her to take a menial job as a makeup clerk and whose constant teary sorrow is affecting her relationship with her son. But at a child’s birthday party, she spies Lola, a sweet 7-year-old little princess as she twirls about and it dawns on her that perhaps it could be actually her own daughter.

One problem, though. She already has a mother — a smug Amazonian-like blonde of privilege named Claire (Yvonne Strahovski of TV’s The Handmaid’s Tale) whose son is pals with Lizzie’s son. She indulges Lizzie at first, especially since she pretends to be interested in buying her tastefully pale house with its au pair bedroom. But fairly soon her parental radar goes off when her new acquaintance starts popping up with regularity and heads straight to her precious Lola.

Rapace, who knows about being a societal misfit after starring in the Swedish version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, is fully convincing as a tightly wound presence on the verge of spinning out of control. As for Strahovski, she, too, is a bit frightening as she fights to protect her family. Farrant relies a bit too much on her clichéd throbbing cello score to ratchet up the tension. But the payoff is worth it.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Angel of Mine is AWFJ’s Movie of the Week for September 13, 2019

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.