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Angel and Tony

Directed by Alix Delaporte

France, 2010

Cornerhouse, 20 May 2012

Angel and Tony

What’s wonderful about the film is how the central relationship becomes real rather than contrived, the path to authenticity being strewn with lies, theft, indecency and genuine emotion.

Being real involves crossing boundaries, breaking laws, managing precariousness – that at any rate is the vision of love given by this film, an unexpectedly potent emotional brew.  We have Angel, a young woman just released from prison who’s looking to reconnect with her young son.  She finds her way to Tony, a fisherman, as someone she can make use of to persuade the court to grant custody of her son.  She pretends there’s a relationship that doesn’t exist. 

Clotilde Hesme as Angel is splendid: a woman driven, fragile and desperate.  It’s her story, telling of how she gains her humanity once more.  Although her integrity is never eclipsed by the world, it leads her into some difficult places.  Saints have trodden easier paths.  She breaks the rules, going her own way no matter what – and it’s contagious, as the final scene makes clear.

A very beautiful film.