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117 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

From the director of The Professional and The Fifth Element comes a stunning, sexy tribute to the healing power of love. When André, a down-on-his-luck gambler, dives into the icy Seine to end it all, he winds up instead rescuing Angela, a gorgeous, mysterious blonde. Filled with renewed passion for life, they set out to settle André's scores as they wander the City of Lights. Along the way, André finds himself, but he still has some questions about his leggy, lovely companion -can she really be as heavenly as she seems? Filled with wit, warmth and eye-popping visuals, ANGEL-A shows just how high you can soar when passion takes flight.

It's a Wonderful Life meets Wings of Desire in French director Luc Besson's Angel-A, a surprisingly charming fable of low-life redemption. The low-life in question is André (Jamel Debbouze, from Amelie), a mousy, disheveled Parisian scam artist who's deeply in debt to various underworld thugs. Suicide seems like the best available option, but just as he's about to leap into the Seine, he encounters Angela (Danish model/actress/filmmaker Rie Rasmussen), a leggy blonde beauty who's going to change André's life in ways he never expected. Filmed in gorgeous black and white in a shimmering Paris that seems almost completely depopulated (most of the filming took place in early-morning sunlight), Angel-A is a rough-edged yet ultimately sweet-natured tale of two chatty characters who find new hope through mutual devotion, and that's likely to disappoint any Besson fans who are expecting another high-octane crime thriller like Leon--The Professional. And yet, Besson's tenth film has a light, feathery quality that works in its favor, even when the characters lack interest and their scenes together grow slightly redundant. Debbouze is perfectly cast as a likable loser who deserves a break, and Rasmussen (who memorably appeared in Brian De Palma's Femme Fatale, wearing nothing but lavish diamonds and a killer smile) is, to say the least, angelically seductive. How well you respond to this romantic fantasy will depend on how attracted you are to these characters, but if you give Angel-A a chance, you might find it to be a worthy companion to Richard Linklater's Before Sunrise and Before Sunset, two other appealing films about love, set in, respectively, Vienna and Paris. --Jeff Shannon

Special Features

  • The Making of Angel-A

Product Details

  • Actors: Jamel Debbouze, Rie Rasmussen, Gilbert Melki
  • Directors: Luc Besson
  • Producers: Luc Besson
  • Format: AC-3, Black & White, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: November 20, 2007
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (117 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,511 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Angel-A" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Mark #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 28, 2008
Format: DVD
Angel-A is a black and white movie based on a classic tale. The movie seems surprisingly "Hollywood" in its idealized theme, especially when you consider it's a French movie. Lovers of French film know how popular the themes of darkness and realism are. Still, Besson's skills as a master film maker shine through. The cinematography is fantastic. When you add in great acting, it's easier to swallow the pill of a very allegorical story.

Acting and Direction

The acting really is the hallmark of this movie. Jamel Debbouze was amazing as Andre, the small time hustler with big dreams. He delivers some very difficult scenes with realism and power.

Rie Rasmussen is also great as Angela. In the one DVD special feature, she talks about French not being her native tongue, which makes her dialogue all the more impressive. The director plays her against Andre using the contrasts of her height against his shortness, her beauty against his average looks and shabby clothes.

The supporting cast is also good, no doubt due to Besson's fine direction.

The Story and the Script

This story is hard to swallow. Even though Andre isn't really American, they manage to throw in some anti-American insults too. The script is clean, yet at times forced. Perhaps I am being too cynical. Still, the filmmaker, cast and crew make it work. Even a basic outline almost gives away the very predictable story line, so I won't go there. See it for yourself and be the judge.


For those who love fine art photography or just great film in general, this DVD is a gem. There are so many beautiful shots of Paris. It's done very expertly in black and white.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Craobh Rua on November 30, 2009
Format: DVD
Directed by Luc Besson, Angel-A was first released in 2005. It's a French romcom (not quite what most would expect from Besson) and stars Jamel Debbouze and Rie Rasmussen in the two lead roles.

André is 28 years old and badly down on his luck. Although his working practices have been a little shady in the past, he's trying to make an honest fist of things and - following a recent trip abroad - is sure that his big break is just around the corner. However, given that he owes an absolute fortune to nearly every crook, villain and gangster in Paris, he mightn't live to see the good times. Having sought help and protection from both the police - who wouldn't lock him up for a few days - and the US Embassy - although of North African descent, he holds a green card - he's left alone and desperate. Eventually, he gives up and decides to throw himself off a bridge and into the Seine...and, just as he's about to jump, he notices Angela to his left. In fairness, Angela is very distracting : she's a tall, very leggy and exceptionally beautiful blonde...and the dress she's wearing only just keeps everything covered. Although he pleads with her not to jump, she won't listen...and so, rather than ending his own life, André finds himself jumping in and saving Angela's. The pair get talking on the banks of the river and, by way of thanks, Angela dedicates herself to helping André. Miraculously, with Angela on his side, things start looking up very, very quickly...

It is subtitled (which may put some people off) and it mightn't appeal to the very innocent, but I loved it. There is a real `feel-good' element to the movie and there is a pretty obvious comparison to "It's a Wonderful Life". Some of the better known locations of Paris are used as the story's backdrop - the Seine and its bridges, the bateaux mouche and the Eiffel Tower - and it's very stylishly shot in black and white. A film I'd have no hesitation in recommending.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By kaioatey on September 14, 2008
Format: DVD
This a profound film - simple and at times painfully sad. Addresses the humanity's predicament: everyone surreptitiously thinks themselves as great while human minds are in fact petty, opportunistic, dis-empowered gambling machines. Andre is the Everyman.

Besson makes a case for truth, love - and breathing - as instruments of divine providence. Truth and love can evoke passion for the divine, for life itself.

A cool movie.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Gus on February 11, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
People who are fans of Luc Besson know he has a style and theme he likes to use often. Be it the socially inexperienced hitman who takes a young girl under his wing and saves from evil DEA agents (The Professional), or be it a tough taxi driver who protects an alien (Fifth Element) or be it Angel-A where a woman who seems to be an Angel decides to help out and protect a broken man who's brought his own problems on himself but can't seem to stop it, Luc is an expert of the "I'm in trouble, help me" "Now I have help when and where I least expected it" kind of movie.

But Angel-A has moved him into a new level. While I've been a very long time fan of The Professional with Jean Reno and Gary Oldman, and while his other movies are good but not quite as good as that one, Angel-A finally hit the emotion he's been trying to reach again for so long.

My girlfriend and I watched Angel-A together, and we liked it so much I bought two copies from Amazon (one for her to carry around and one for me to keep in library). We watched it twice and talked about it for quite a while.

It's a beautiful movie.
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