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A Rumor of Angels

62 customer reviews

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(Jun 25, 2002)
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Editorial Reviews

Oscar® winner* Vanessa Redgrave (Howards End) leads a dazzling cast, including Golden Globe nominee** Ray Liotta (Hannibal), Catherine McCormack (Spy Game), Ron Livingston ( Band of Brothers ) and Trevor Morgan (Jurassic Park III), in this touching drama aboutthe limitless power of friendship and love. Devastated by the loss of his mother, twelve-year-old James (Morgan) endures a lonely summer on Cape Cod until he befriends Maddy (Redgrave), the crazy old lady who lives by the lighthouse. But when James father (Liotta) discovers the otherworldly nature of their conversations, he forbids their friendship putting James newfound belief in the power ofloveand Maddy's belief in the power of lifeto the ultimate test! *1977: Supporting Actress, Julia **1986: Supporting Actor, Something Wild

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Vanessa Redgrave, Ray Liotta, Catherine McCormack, Trevor Morgan, Ron Livingston
  • Directors: Peter O'Fallon
  • Writers: Peter O'Fallon, Grace Duffie Boylan, James Eric, Jamie Horton
  • Producers: Brad Krevoy, Glenn S. Gainor, J.P. Pettinato, John Hamilton, Lisa M. Hansen
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: June 25, 2002
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000065U31
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,060 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "A Rumor of Angels" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

63 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 21, 2002
Format: DVD
A RUMOR OF ANGELS - a film I don't recall seeing advertised for theater public consumption - is like that rare find on a misty beachcoming afternoon. Here is a story so simple yet so rich that it should be viewed by a much larger audience. Yes, Vanessa Redgrave fans will of course pick up the DVD on the merits of her enormous gifts as an actress. Or perhaps word of mouth will spread the news that someone cared enough to make a life-affirming film in the midst of all the action/implosion noisemakers. Very simply, the film is based on a book 'Messages from a Soldier to his Mother' that opens the window to the concept of what happens to us when we die. The journal kept by Redgraves' character ( Maddy Bennett, a gnarly old woman who is a loner but sensitively in touch with her take on this world and the one after) is eventually shared with an emotionally devastated boy of 12 to help him accept his mother's accidental death, a death for which he feels responsible. It all works well as a story without becoming maudlin, due in no small part to director Peter O'Fallon and his sterling cast. Not only does this damaged child find solace about the question of death, his wonderfully colorful mentor Maddy teaches him about music, about living, about forgiving. The musical score is beautifully enhancing in the form of Mozart (Symphony No. 39, a two piano sonata, and the exquisite choral Ave Verum Corpus). The physical settings are magnificent, the camera work, set dressing, editing, and of course the luminous gifts of actor Vanessa Redgrave all make this a film worth seeing and owning. Highly recommended.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Reviewer on July 17, 2002
Format: DVD
Youth and guilt can be a potent combination, especially in the wake of a tragic accident, when they come together to manifest responsibility where there is none; imagined or real, fault precipitates inordinate guilt that can weigh a person down. And such a burden is hard for anyone to carry, but can be especially devastating if the individual in question is young and blameless, the very situation examined by director Peter O'Fallen in "A Rumor of Angels," the heartfelt drama of a boy emotionally disabled by the memory of the car wreck that claimed the life of his mother, and who now bears the guilt of survival, amplified by the passing of time and self-incrimination. It's a bitter pill, better left in the bottle; but without solace, a task easier said than done.
For some two years, young James Neubauer (Trevor Morgan) has struggled with the loss of his mother, and a contrary attitude born of self-reproach has created a seemingly unbridgeable chasm between him and his father, Nathan (Roy Liotta), who is often away on business, and the relationship he has with his stepmother, Mary (Catherine McCormack), is tentative at best. His real problem, though, lies in the fact that he is simply unable to express the feelings of darkness that have since the accident encroached upon his soul. Of those around him, he seems able to relate only to Nathan's younger brother, his Uncle Charlie (Ron Livingston); it's something, but not nearly enough.
His life takes a turn, however, when circumstances bring him into contact with an eccentric old woman, Maddy Bennett (Vanessa Redgrave), who lives alone in an old house by the sea. Something from her past strikes a chord that produces a bond between them, and Maddy's insights into life and loss soon begin to have an effect on James.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Gene Bitner on September 4, 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This film has some of the same plot and setting elements as
"Man Without a Face", and has a 'generational bridge' similar to that which "On Golden Pond" did so well.
It is about a young boy who becomes friends with a crabby old lady. Both the boy and the lady (played wonderfully by Vanessa Redgrave) have lost loved ones--- the boy having witnessed his mother's death in an accident only a few years before. It is a case of help from outside the family being more effective than help from within the family. I suspect that this would happen a lot more if we did not have to keep our kids away from all 'strangers'.
Both the boy and the old lady fill a special need for each other at one certain time in their lives. Unlike most films, there is really no one to hate in this one-- that in itself is rare. You actually wind up liking everyone in this movie-- or at least I did.
I would have done a different ending had I been the director-- the one used is not very subtle and was difficult for me to believe... not the basic intent of it, but the media it used. You will know what I mean if and when you see it.
The box said PG-13 and mentioned some 'brief drug references'??
HUH? The old lady won't take her medicine-- Geeze! Some very mild profanity.
A special treat in the film is the music!
I watched the VHS version, but by all means go for the DVD-- I was cheated out of 1/3 of all the scenes with the "fit to your screen" version.
I give it a "5" out of "5" with a few reservations. The technical guys should have asked a few ham radio operators about the way transmitters work (you have to have a receiver also!), and 'keys' don't make tones just by themselves. But all in all, a very good effort.
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