Angels and Insects Reviews
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.
(The dresses are hideous).
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.