Angels and Insects - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Angels and Insects Reviews

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October 15, 2015
Very well done period piece with surprising twists & turns, drama & superb acting. Both men & women will enjoy it.
½ September 5, 2015
A very old-styled period drama.
August 17, 2015
"Ángeles e Insectos" es un drama de época dirigido a un público adulto y maduro (algo muy raro en el cine contemporáneo) acerca de un naturalista (Mark Rylance) que cae en las redes de una adorable y atractiva hija de una familia acomodada (Patsy Kensit). La premisa de esta cinta, basada en la novela "Morpho Eugenia" de A.S. Byatt, es la de mostrarnos cómo el orden social de los insectos dista mucho del de los humanos. Kristin Scott-Thomas, como es costumbre, nos entrega una soberbia actuación en un papel secundario.
½ December 16, 2013
Très bon film ... qui m'avait tout de même un peu "traumatisé" à l'époque !
Super Reviewer
August 12, 2013
Beautiful scenery of the English countryside, a captivating young woman with a dark secret, an innocent young man captivated by the trappings of wealth and "proper" society all come together in this terrific film. The plot is amply described here and elsewhere, so I won't bore you with the details. Patsy Kensit is radiant as the beautiful, cosseted elder sister Eugenia, who harbors a secret addiction that nearly destroys the man who at one time worshiped her great beauty and thought himself unworthy of her affections. Kristen Scott Thomas quietly simmered as the intelligent, artistically talented children's tutor, Matty, who is mainly unnoticed within the household, but whose finely honed powers of observation serve her well. Mark Rylance turned in a carefully nuanced performance as the young biologist, William Adamson, who finds himself the beneficiary of the Alabaster family's largess and blissfully marries Eugenia, only to discover the deception that has been played out under his nose. And Douglas Henshall is perfect as a loutish brute, Eugenia's brother, Edgar. Edgar fancies himself as the pinnacle of human breeding and is quite concerned with maintaining the purity of the bloodlines of his horses and of his family. He is also a man ruled by his passions who satisfies his desires whenever and wherever it pleases him and has nothing but contempt for his ill-bred brother-in-law. The characters are fully fleshed by the script, the passion on screen is palpable, and the conflicts within the household simmer and bubble just below the surface. In that way, it is much like an ant colony, the study of which forms the focal point of the story and becomes the way out for young William and for Matty as well. Matty at one point refers to the members of the household who are invisible to the main inhabitants but nonetheless wield enormous power because of their anonymity. The house decides what is revealed and what is to remain hidden.
November 6, 2011
It's not a Victorian costume drama (through there are some freaky costumes) and the themes aren't explored properly. But it is enjoyable and an interesting symbolism and parallels with the insects and the movie's characters.
½ July 30, 2011
Super Reviewer
July 5, 2011
Haunting, erotic, and unexpected, full review is coming..
½ December 9, 2010
full frontal nudity. Excellent adaptation from Byatt's novel.
June 11, 2010

A sophisticated drama set in Victorian England at a time when Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection first became a hot button topic among the people. The story explores how and to what extent these cutting edge scientific ideas were of interest and concern to the upper echelons of society by taking a close look at the lives of one exceedingly wealthy family. On the surface they seem quite open-minded to the notion of social evolution, but then again perhaps not. It is for the eldest son and heir to the vast family fortune to take matters into his own hands when he realizes that their privileged lifestyle is up for grabs by his new brother-in-law, a low-life intellectual of no monetary means nor social standing of his own to speak of, who is at the forefront touting the merits of these questionable notions. Credible acting.
Super Reviewer
February 14, 2010
Not a movie I would recommend, but if you have nothing to do on a saturday evening and it's on TV.. Why not?
(The dresses are hideous).
August 17, 2009
Interesting and engaging comparison of Victorian society to that of the insect kingdom. Rylance is good as the shy protagonist and you may guess the payoff but only b/c you are jaded and disturbed.
½ August 17, 2009
Insects, naturalists, Darwin, romance, deceit - twisted yet happy ending
½ August 17, 2009
I figured out the plot twist after Eugenia had her first kids, but the film still played itself out carefully and deliberately. I loved the innocence of Mark Rylance's and KS Thomas's characters' friendship. And I loved the way Rylance's character spoke: respectfully, intelligently, and very prettily! :)
August 17, 2009
"Angels and Insects" unfolds leisurely, and is an aesthetically pleasing movie. Based upon A.S. Byatt's [whose "Possession" was also adapted for the big screen] novella "Morpho Eugenia", the story centers around an impoverished naturalist, William Adamson [Mark Rylance] who has spent a great many years in the wilds of the Amazon, studying the insect colonies there. Upon his return to Victorian England, he is taken under the benevolent wings of Rev Harald Alabaster [Jeremy Kemp], and promptly forms an attachment to the Rev's daughter, the ethereally beautiful Eugenia [Patsy Kline]. The pair marry and settle in Eugenia's family manor, where Adamson finds himself treated with disdain and condescension by Eugenia's boorish brother. Even his wife blows hot and cold, exhibiting wanton passion one moment, and shunning all physical contact the next, leaving Adamson perplexed. The years pass, and Adamson finds himself unaware of darker undercurrents running through the Alabaster household, which harbors some very dark and perverse secrets. Adamson meanwhile dedicates himself to his bug study, aided by a poor Alabaster cousin, Matty [Kristin Scott Thomas], and it is only in the last half an hour of the movie that the action speeds up and Adamson is made aware of the darker events occurring in his home.

Though I was engrossed in this story, I did find the first half rather plodding, and also quite infuriating as the viewer senses the 'secret' in the story long before naive Adamson does. Mark Rylance is credible as the unsuspecting husband and devoted naturalist, as are Kristin Scott Thomas' spinsterish Matty and Patsy Kensit's blonde beauty Eugenia. The cinematography is lush and beautiful, even to the extent of romanticizing the insects featured.

Viewers need to be forewarned that there is plenty of graphic nudity in this, i.e. male and female full frontal nudity. To some extent it does serve a purpose in the narration of the story. This is no prudish Victorian drama, but a period movie that happens to deal with some dark themes. It is definitely worth checking out for fans of serious period dramas.
½ August 17, 2009
A slow-building but highly-entertaining costume drama set in Victorian England. Rylance and Thomas have great chemistry, and since it's based on A.S. Byatt, you really can't go wrong! I liked the film's attention to detail, but I found the costumes a *little* too obvious.
August 17, 2009
The story, costume design, and acting are all terrific. The film suffers a little from direction and cinematography that is too reminiscent of BBC Agatha Christie specials, but that's my only complaint. Brilliant story.
August 17, 2009
sounds interesting enough
May 27, 2009
interesting visually, but othwerwise it is slow and predictable.
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