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House of Angels

Colin Nutley

There aren’t many pleasant surprises around just now but House of Angels, written and directed by British director Colin Nutley, is certainly one of them. It’s a comedy that’s funny, acted with rare insight and full of the generally soured milk of homan kindness. A feel-good movie, in fact in much the same tone as the celebrated My Life as a Dog.
Set deep in the Swedish countryside, which is hot by Jens Fisher as if nowwhere was quite so stunning, even if its inhabitants are so deeply conservative that strangers are unlikely enough to enjoy it, the film tells the story of one such stranger – a nightclub singer from the wicked city. Such a film, which might have ended in a pool of blood or at least an indecorous shoot-out in an American movie, goes a very different way here, streering a neat course between comedy and a touching feel for real people, none of whom are treated either as heroes or villains.
Primarily, however, it’s the accuracy of Nutley’s observation and his acute sense that humour comes from exposition of character rather than bald joking that gives House of Angels its holding centre. It isn’t a European art film so much as a commercial movie which does not play down to its audiences. It assumes the film goer’s intelligence and glides gently and with certainty along with it.

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