Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
SEARCH RESULTS FOR
Daniel dives into the much-loved 'Dumbo' in a brand new episode of Ink & Paint - and don't forget to subscribe to our podcast!x
review, Angelfish, Angelfish, film, movie, latest movies, new movie, movie ratings, current movie reviews, latest films, recent movies, current movies, movie critics, new movie reviews, latest movie reviews, latest movies out, the latest movies, review film, latest cinema releases, Australian reviews, cinema, cinema reviews, Jimi Stanton, Stanley Simons, Rosie Berrido, Sandy Tejada, Carla Carvalho, Peter Andrew Lee, Drama, Romance

ANGELFISH

★★★

A SLIGHT BUT SWEET ROMANCE

ONLINE ENTERTAINMENT
LATEST REVIEWS
By Jake Watt
10th May 2020

As recently as the 1960s, cinema featuring interracial love stories faced boycotts and banning in parts of the United States. Despite such opposition, filmmakers persisted in developing storylines with interracial couples. Today, interracial romances are commonly depicted on the small and big screen alike. However, these movies continue to use the trials and tribulations of racially mixed lovers as a platform to challenge racial constructs and racism generally.

Set in 1993, writer/director Peter Lee's 'Angelfish' follows Brendan (Jimi Stanton), a high school dropout who works at a deli in the Bronx to support his aimless younger brother, Connor (Stanley Simons), and New York's worst mother, the alcoholic Mary (Erin Davie, playing a borderline caricature). While Mary stays out late at dive bars, kicks the boys out of the apartment so she can bring home random blokes, and shirks all parental responsibility, Brendan tries to keep his brother away from the neighbourhood delinquents chugging beer on the street corner, the ones who may land Connor in prison.

One day at work, he notices Eva (Destiny Frasqueri a.k.a. Princess Nokia, in her on-screen debut) as she's being pestered by a Latin American creeper. "Look at this gringo," her unwanted admirer sneers at Brendan. After another chance encounter at the cinema, Brendan tries to get her attention again, and this time it sticks. While not the smoothest cat, the dude is persistent.

'ANGELFISH' TRAILER

Eva has her own dramas back home. Although her family life is stable, she's dealing with guilt trips from her Puerto Rican mum, Altagracia (Rosie Berrido), who wants her daughter to go to college and become an accountant, even though Eva wants to pursue acting. Her mum also relies on her to help look after Eva's disabled brother, Julio, and much younger sister.

As their romance continues to grow, the couple faces challenges from those around them: Eva's friends question why Brendan can't get a white girl, Brendan's mother thinks Eva is only after her son's meagre earnings and talks about her in a denigrating manner, Connor gets in deeper with the wrong crowd, and Altagracia has a Puerto Rican suitor in mind for Eva, even though she's not interested in a guy who may or may not be talking to other girls behind her back.

Neither Eva nor Brendan has it easy, although their relationship never encounters the levels of societal hostility of, say, Spike Lee's 'Jungle Fever'. But among all the demands on their emotions, can these two kids still find time and space for each other? What follows is a low-key personal drama, as the two stories of their lives run parallel to each other like train tracks.

Lee keeps many of his shots of the actors close, enhancing the feeling of cramped apartments and the sense that the characters are trapped in their lives. But when Brendan and Eva are together, there's a lot of walking and talking outdoors - this is 1993, pre-internet, social media or smartphones. We get to know the pair as they travel across the north side of New York, Kingsbridge and Marble Hill, through the parks, bridges, bodega-lined streets, weathered old brick buildings and the elevated train stations.

When Brendan and Eva are together, there's a lot of walking and talking outdoors - this is 1993, before the internet, social media or smartphones.

The performances of the young central cast feel fresh. Stanton, handsome but appropriately weathered, is impressive as Brendan. Although the character is underwritten (not only does he seem to have no faults but also no friends?), Stanton's performance and physicality convey the sense of a boy forced into manhood too soon. He's supportive of Eva's creative ambitions (he encourages her to sign up to audition for a play), which is something she doesn't find at home. As Eva, Princess Nokia plays her character with a large degree of naturalism - she's smart, quieter than her friends, but still steely enough to shrug off any bullying from Brendan's mother. To be frank, Princess Nokia turns in the best performance from a rapper/R&B-singer-turned-first-time-actress that I've seen in a film since T-Boz in Hype William's 'Belly' way back in 1998. Not only does the dialogue between the two leads in 'Angelfish' sound believable, but the acting conveys a range of moods and subtleties, a study in working-class characters trying, succeeding, or failing at keeping their lives together.

Although it's less ambitious in scope and message than similar star-crossed lovers films like Anthony Drazan's 'Zebrahead', Lee's low-budget film is also far gentler and succeeds as a thoughtful look at an urban interracial romance. As a first film, 'Angelfish' is quite remarkable, and certainly Lee and his impressive young cast are people to watch for in the future.

FAST FACTS
RELEASE DATE: TBA
RUN TIME: 1h 36m
CAST: Jimi Stanton
Stanley Simons
Rosie Berrido
Sandy Tejada
Carla Carvalho
WRITER/DIRECTOR: Peter Andrew Lee
PRODUCERS: Robin Rose Singer
Rabia Sultana
Ricardo Villar
Peter Lee
SCORE: Tom Bromley
AngelfishMovie
AngelfishMovie
angelfishmovie
TOP-RATED REVIEWS
Never Rarely Sometimes Always - The film every teenager needs to see
TRENDINGNEVER RARELY SOMETIMES ALWAYSThe film every teenager needs to see
xXx: Return Of Xander Cage - The good, the bad and the ugly
TRENDINGxXx: RETURN OF XANDER CAGEThe good, the bad and the ugly
The Violin Player - Sex and strings
TRENDINGTHE VIOLIN PLAYERSex and strings
23 Walks - A story of dogs, walks and romance later in life
TRENDING23 WALKSA story of dogs, walks and romance later in life
Over the Limit - A real-life psychological thriller
TRENDINGOVER THE LIMITA real-life psychological thriller
Wet Woman in the Wind - A sexy struggle for conquest
TRENDINGWET WOMAN IN THE WINDA sexy struggle for conquest
Basic Instinct - 25 years of the erotic thriller
TRENDINGBASIC INSTINCT25 years of the erotic thriller
Buffy - A 20th anniversary love letter
TRENDINGBUFFYA 20th anniversary love letter
Revisiting 'Dark City' 20 years later - The most underrated and influential sci-fi film ever?
TRENDINGREVISITING 'DARK CITY' 20 YEARS LATERThe most underrated and influential sci-fi film ever?
Black Water: Abyss - Abyss-mally shoddy
TRENDINGBLACK WATER: ABYSSAbyss-mally shoddy
Litigante - An authentic and tender character piece
TRENDINGLITIGANTEAn authentic and tender character piece
25 Free-to-Watch Short Horror Films - The scariest shorts we uncovered online
TRENDING25 FREE-TO-WATCH SHORT HORROR FILMSThe scariest shorts we uncovered online
Gallipoli - A powerful and important film remembered
TRENDINGGALLIPOLIA powerful and important film remembered
Batman and Me - Ironically, this film is <i>not</i> for Batman fans
TRENDINGBATMAN AND MEIronically, this film is not for Batman fans
Happy Ending - An extra-wrinkly sex comedy
TRENDINGHAPPY ENDINGAn extra-wrinkly sex comedy
The Land Before Time - 30th anniversary of a breathtaking animated masterpiece
TRENDINGTHE LAND BEFORE TIME30th anniversary of a breathtaking animated masterpiece
Blood Vessel - Disappointingly anaemic
TRENDINGBLOOD VESSELDisappointingly anaemic
In My Blood It Runs - An eye-opening tale of struggling Indigenous youth
TRENDINGIN MY BLOOD IT RUNSAn eye-opening tale of struggling Indigenous youth
Never Rarely Sometimes Always - The film every teenager needs to see
TRENDINGNEVER RARELY SOMETIMES ALWAYSThe film every teenager needs to see
xXx: Return Of Xander Cage - The good, the bad and the ugly
TRENDINGxXx: RETURN OF XANDER CAGEThe good, the bad and the ugly
© 2011 - 2020 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us