Sorry Angel (3 stars)

Sorry Angel

Thoughtful romantic drama from French director Christophe Honoré

Christophe Honoré's Sorry Angel (Plaire, Aimer et Courir Vite) might make the perfect companion piece to 120 BPM. The bustling energy of Robin Campillo's ACT UP fresco is complemented by Honoré's narrower, novelistic focus on an individual negotiating life, love and the spectre of his own mortality in the Paris of the 1990s.

Jacques (Pierre Deladonchamps) is an HIV positive writer suffering from AIDS. The film begins in 1993, the passing of the years marked by cinema visits. Disjointed fragments of Jacques's life drift pass as we learn of his messy relationship with a dying lover, his affectionate devotion to his son and the possibility of a new romance with the younger Arthur (an engaging Vincent Lacoste).

Initially a little meandering and disjointed, Sorry Angel hits its stride when Jacques meets Arthur. He arrives in Rennes to visit a production of one of his plays. There seems to be an instant connection. The 20-year-old comes to double as both lover and alter ego. Arthur's open-minded curiosity about the world, his rushes of energy, desire to become a filmmaker and fondness for cottaging all serve to remind Jacques of a younger version of himself that now feels long ago and far away.

Protective of his privacy and neglectful of his son, Jacques is often not the most sympathetic of figures. Honoré strives for honesty, rather than surrendering to nostalgia or coating the past in a glow of sentimentality. Jacques is driven by contradictory impulses and Deladonchamps brings a steely, self-protective reserve to a character reluctant to love again and weary with a sense of everything that has been sacrificed down the years. Sometimes a challenge to piece together, the lengthy Sorry Angel still emerges as a thoughtful, melancholy remembrance of love and loss.

Selected release from Fri 22 Mar.

Sorry Angel

  • 3 stars
  • 2018
  • France
  • 2h 12min
  • Directed by: Christophe Honoré
  • Cast: Vincent Lacoste, Pierre Deladonchamps, Denis Podalydès

Jacques (Deladonchamps) is a writer suffering from AIDS in 1990s Paris, whose life takes a new turn when he meets Arthur (Lacoste). Honore strives for honesty rather than sentimentality and the result, although sometimes a bit disjointed, is a thoughtful and melancholy remembrance of love and loss.