An Angel at My Table (1990) - Rotten Tomatoes

An Angel at My Table (1990)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

An Angel at My Table Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

New Zealand poet Janet Frame is the subject of Jane Campion's biographical drama, which presents a poetically evocative look at the authoress' turbulent life. The film begins with a look at Frame's childhood, showing her as a bright but odd-looking, emotionally fragile young girl with a knack for writing. Frame faces great difficulty in adapting to the conventional rural life around her, and her social awkwardness only worsens as she grows older. After she fails in her attempt to become a schoolteacher due to an intense panic attack, she is subject to a psychiatric evaluation and shamefully misdiagnosed as a schizophrenic. Frame is subsequently committed to a mental institution, where she suffers years of unnecessary shock treatments and other horrors. Her salvation comes through her writings, however, which attract the attention of a renowned author who arranges her release. While the nightmare of Frame's institutionalization is presented with great sensitivity and power, Campion and screenwriter Laura Jones, to their credit, refuse to simplify her story to this one pivotal event. Instead, they pay equal attention to Frame's subsequent life, as she slowly adjusts life in the outside world, experiencing literary success and her first romance. Expressive visuals add immeasurably to the total effect, while Kerry Fox's superb performance creates a truly affecting portrait of Frame. Impressively, the film was originally made as a mini-series for New Zealand television, and slightly reedited for a later theatrical release.more
Rating: R
Genre: Art House & International, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Laura Jones
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 20, 2005
Criterion Collection


Kerry Fox
as Janet Frame
Alexia Keogh
as Young Janet
Karen Fergusson
as Teenage Janet
Katherine Murray-Cow...
as Isabel Frame (as a c...
Samantha Townsley
as Isabel Frame (as a t...
Susan McGregor
as June Frame (as a tee...
Sarah Llewellyn
as June Frame (as a chi...
Andrew Binns
as Buddie Frame
Christopher Lawrence
as Buddie Frame (as a t...
Mark Morrison
as Buddie Frame (as a c...
Paul Sanchez
as Francesca
Carla Hedgeman
as Poppy (as a child)
Caroline Somerville
as Poppy (as a teenager...
Colin McColl
as John Forrest
Martyn Sanderson
as Frank Sargeson
Jessica Wilcox
as Kay Stead
Mark Clare
as Karl Stead
Peter Dennett
as Mark Goulden
Rod Collinson
as Mr. Niles
David McKenzie
as Alan Sillitoe
Eleanor Wragge
as Ruth Sillitoe
Jessie Mune
as Janet Frame (as a ba...
Sarah Llewwllyn
as June Frame - as a Ch...
Francesca Collins
as June Frame (as a bab...
Mark Thomson
as Billy Delaware
Brenda Kendall
as Miss Botting
Paul Moffat
as Dis McIvor
Dave Scott
as Doctor
Cushla Aston
as Borstal Girl
David McAuslan
as Bully Boy
Faye Flegg
as Doctor
Melissa Dawson
as Nora Bone
Angela Ford
as Turning Girl
Lorna Storm
as Groovy Girl
Timothy Bartlett
as Gussy Dymock
Richard Mills
as Talent Scout
Sassy Acorn
as Audition Girl
Tony Creamer
as Audition Boy
Hamish McFarlane
as Avril Luxton
Geoff Barlow
as Headmaster
Edith Campion
as Miss Lyndsay
Fiona Kay
as Marguerite
Eileen Clark
as Neighbor
Lillian Enting
as Miss Crowe
Fiona Brown
as Shirley
Maureen Duffy
as Miss Farnie
Melanie Reid
as Melanie
Erin Mills
as Katherine
Natalie Ellis
as Aunt Isy
Eddie Hegan
as Uncle George
Alistair Douglas
as Headmaster
Rod Collison
as Mr. Niles
Harry Lavington
as Head of Psychology
Sheryl Stewart
as Nurse Maitland
Cushla Ashton
as Borstal Girl
Jacqueline O'Rourke
as Borstal Girl
Joy Trow
as Woman on Platform
June Shane
as Neighbour
Annabel Lomas
as Mrs. Chandler
Jim Rawdon
as Wilson
Peter Brunt
as Dr. Burt
Peter Needham
as Dr. Palmer
Joshua Cole
as June and Wilson's Ch...
Ian Hendl
as June and Wilson's Ch...
Helene Anderson
as Norwegian Woman
Joan Foster
as Hotel Manageress
David Letch
as Patrick
Paul Norell
as Bohemian
Julia Calvo
as Spanish Woman on Tra...
Maria Matias
as Spanish Woman
Carlos Martinez
as Spanish Official
Paula Sanchez
as Francesca
Timothy Smith
as Edwin Mather
Gerald Bryan
as Dr. Cawley
Billy Atkinson
as Mrs. Morgan
Caroline Flint
as Mrs. Goulden
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for An Angel at My Table

Critic Reviews for An Angel at My Table

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (9)

Full Review… | September 7, 2011
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | December 19, 1990
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for An Angel at My Table

Fascinating study of oversensitivity as future New Zealand poet laureate endures the slings and arrows of a unpoetic world bent on destroying poetry, or at least ignoring it. Kerry Fox is a round-eyed, trembling terror to behold as a writer mistakenly condemned to the mental ward. This was a television series?!? Excellent work by Campion.

Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

Beautiful in every way.

Michael S

Super Reviewer

A good film...err...okay I have to admit that I can't remember seeing it. Come on!! I see half a gazillion movies!! I have a check next to this film on my list so I must have seen it...hmmm..but for the life of me I can't remember it.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

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