×

An Angel Hooked On Me

Minimalist production design and deliberately ambiguous characters leave no room for emotion in tyro Romanian helmer Gheorghe Preda's aseptic, awkwardly titled "An Angel Hooked on Me."

With:
With: Anca Florea, Constantin Florescu, Emily Daller. (Romanian, English, Hungarian dialogue)

Minimalist production design and deliberately ambiguous characters leave no room for emotion in tyro Romanian helmer Gheorghe Preda’s aseptic, awkwardly titled “An Angel Hooked on Me.” More drawn to the aesthetics of emptiness than to the characters inhabiting his all-white interiors, Preda plays a game of cat-and-mouse between a young composer and her creepy secret admirer. But the idea becomes more interesting than its execution as the helmer’s meticulously vacuumed world seals off sustainable interest for all but the most experimental-eyed festgoers. Local B.O. barely got off the ground.

Severe asthma forces Ana (Anca Florea) to maintain a sterile environment, though she already has a predilection for barren walls and immaculate white spaces. A composer whose combination of traditional classical elements with industrial sounds (think rotating saw slicing through metal pipes) has made her a rising name in New Music circles, Ana is hardly a social animal. She’s just as happy to spy on her neighbors as she is to go out with English friend Kate (Emily Daller).

Popular on Variety

When a DVD arrives showing her going about her daily routines, she’s curious but hardly disturbed. At first it’s not clear if she’s noticed the cryptic posters addressed to her around town, but when a harpsichord is delivered, she sends it back to the mystery benefactor. She finally files a complaint against her invisible stalker, a sort of fallen angel if pic’s title is to be taken into account.

Annoyed but oddly fascinated, Ana tries to contact her admirer; instead, she’s drugged and winds up the sole patient in a hospital with an eerie, overly friendly staff. She escapes and meets with police inspector Stan (Constantin Florescu), who’s given little to work with when Ana refuses to discuss her private life.

Helmer enjoys the play of watcher and watched, trailing Ana through the streets and then having her suddenly turn around to silently confront the camera. But Preda comes across more like a theoretician experimenting with academic ideas than a director devoted to moviemaking. Florea’s numbed performance only furthers the sense that the pic is an empty shell.

More intriguingly, Preda sets the film in a decidedly upper-middle class Bucharest; auds who imagine all Romanian hospitals to be dire, “The Death of Mr. Lazarescu”-like institutions will be surprised. Controlled, bleak lensing displays talent, while flashback sequences employ the usual tics, from shaky images to scratched emulsion.

An Angel Hooked On Me

Romania

Production: A Transilvania Film release of an MDV Film presentation of an MDV Film, McCann Erickson, Total Professional Records production. Produced by Mihai Orasanu, Cezar Helmis. Executive producer, Alexandra Movileanu. Directed, written by Gheorghe Preda.

Crew: Camera (color/B&W), Silviu Stavila; editor, Laura Georgescu Baron; music, Cristian Lolea; production designer, Preda; costume designer, Mihaela Ularu; sound, Mihai Orasanu. Reviewed at Cairo Film Festival (competing), Dec. 6, 2007. Running time: 96 MIN.

With: With: Anca Florea, Constantin Florescu, Emily Daller. (Romanian, English, Hungarian dialogue)

More Film

  • Anais Bertrand on Producing Sundance Player

    Anais Bertrand on the Obstacles She Faced to Produce Sundance Player ‘Jumbo’

    Zoé Wittock’s debut feature, “Jumbo,” screening in Sundance’s World Cinema Dramatic Competition, is also the first feature film produced by up-and-coming French producer Anais Bertrand, of Insolence Productions, who has cut her teeth on award-winning shorts, including winning the Procirep Short Film Producer Award last year. “Jumbo” is about a young woman, played by Noémie [...]

  • 'Parasite,' 'Jojo Rabbit' Win ACE Eddie

    'Parasite,' 'Jojo Rabbit' Win ACE Eddie Awards for Top Feature Films

    “Parasite” and “Jojo Rabbit” have won the top feature film trophies at the 70th Annual ACE Eddie Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Jinmo Yang won the dramatic feature category for “Parasite” over “Ford v Ferrari,” “Joker,” “The Irishman,” and “Marriage Story.” The victory marks the first time in ACE Eddie Awards history that a [...]

  • Gregg Smith, Dancer and Choreographer Assistant,

    Gregg Smith, Dancer and Choreographer Assistant, Dies at 73

    Gregg Smith, a dancer, casting director and assistant choreographer who had a long association with director Kenny Ortega, has died. He was 73. Smith died on Jan. 1. The industry veteran worked as a performer in the national touring company of the musical “Hair” and in a Los Angeles production of “Jesus Christ Superstar.” He [...]

  • Oscar Isaac Golden Globes 2016

    Film News Roundup: Oscar Isaac Joins Superhero Movie 'The Great Machine'

    In today’s film news roundup, Oscar Isaac boards “The Great Machine,” Keira Knightley joins “Silent Night” and “The Dog Doc” finds a home. CASTINGS Legendary has closed a deal for Oscar Isaac to star in and produce superhero saga “The Great Machine.” The project is based on Brian K. Vaughan’s comic book series “Ex Machina” [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    U.S. Movie Admissions Plunge 4.6% in 2019 Amid Box Office Decline

    U.S. movie admissions slid 4.6% last year to 1.24 billion, the second lowest admissions number during the current century, the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) has reported. North American box office for the year declined 4.1% to $11.4 billion, NATO said Friday. That figure was in line with the estimate released at the end [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    'National Treasure 3' Moves Ahead From Disney, Jerry Bruckheimer

    Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer are moving ahead with a third “National Treasure” movie with “Bad Boys for Life” screenwriter Chris Bremner tapped to write the script. Bremner has also signed to write a fourth “Bad Boys” for Sony with Bruckheimer producing. Bruckheimer produced the three “Bad Boys” and the two “National Treasure” movies. The “National [...]

  • Mike (WILL SMITH), Marcus (MARTIN LAWRENCE)

    'Bad Boys 4' in the Works at Sony Pictures

    Sony Pictures has launched early development of an untitled fourth “Bad Boys” movie with “Bad Boys for Life” screenwriter Chris Bremner returning to write the script. Bremner has also signed to write “National Treasure 3” for Disney with Jerry Bruckheimer producing. Bruckheimer produced the three “Bad Boys” and the two “National Treasure” movies. Bremner teamed [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content