Each week we’re recommending a movie from the film lover’s favorite home video company, Criterion. The Criterion Collection is dedicated to gathering the greatest films from around the world and publishing them in editions of the highest technical quality with supplemental features that enhance the appreciation of the art of film. This week, An Angel at My Table.
With An Angel at My Table, Academy Award–winning filmmaker Jane Campion brought to the screen the harrowing autobiography of Janet Frame, New Zealand’s most distinguished author.
Three actors in turn take on the lead role (including Kerry Fox in a marvelous performance as the adult Frame), as the film describes a journey from an impoverished childhood marked by tragedy to a misdiagnosis of schizophrenia resulting in electroshock therapy and a narrowly escaped lobotomy to, finally, international literary fame.
Unobtrusively capturing the beauty and power of the New Zealand landscape while maintaining the film’s focus on the figure at its center, Campion broke new ground for female filmmakers everywhere and earned a sweep of her country’s film awards, along with the Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival.
- High-definition digital restoration, supervised by director of photography Stuart Dryburgh and approved by director Jane Campion, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
- Audio commentary from 2005 featuring Campion, Dryburgh, and actor Kerry Fox
- Short documentary from 2002 about the making of the film
- Six deleted scenes
- Audio interview with author Janet Frame from 1983
- Stills gallery
- English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
- PLUS: An essay by film critic Amy Taubin and excerpts from Frame’s autobiography, on which Campion based her film