Several promising creative minds are teaming up for a new Australian psychological drama.
Noomi Rapace — the original onscreen Lisbeth Salander and generally an incredibly underrated actress — has landed a new role in an upcoming psychological thriller. According to Deadline, she will lead Angel of Mine, a film penned by Lion screenwriter Luke Davies with David Regal. It will serve as Australian director Kim Farrant‘s follow-up to her narrative feature film debut, Strangerland.
Angel of Mine will be based on a French film from 2008 titled L’Empreinte de L’Ange. Rapace’s character, Lizzie, is a mother trying to cope with the untimely loss of her daughter. She becomes fixated on a stranger’s child, convinced the girl is hers, and develops a deeply unhealthy obsession with her. Lizzie then slowly “[loses] touch with reality.”
This won’t be the first time either Farrant or Davies have tackled the umbrella category of “family” in their movies. Davies did a phenomenal job of navigating the dissonance between home and identity in two completely different countries with Lion. Farrant’s Strangerland is more of an amorphous attempt at dealing with family struggles and broken bonds.
The protagonist’s uprooted and disconcerting motivation seems to be a throughline in Angel of Mine, at least based on the synopsis alone. Farrant — whose Strangerland isn’t at all identical, but still addresses unhealthy family dynamics to some extent — could probably replicate this. However, the fact that Strangerland itself is sadly underwhelming is enough to give anyone pause. It could have been a family drama of epic proportions given its premise: an Australian family of four escape to the outback only to be swallowed by the inexplicable mystery of the bush.
Strangerland could have provided sweeping metaphors for the uncontrollability of adolescence and a dissection of women’s roles in relationships with partners and fathers… but it doesn’t. It’s a rather confusing film overall, despite how visually stunning it is. I’m still not sure if it’s actually the fault of the film’s screenwriters, though, as Farrant has yet to direct a new feature until now. If that’s the case, then the fact that Davies is on board could be a crucial element to making Angel of Mine good or even great.
Obsession is always tricky to portray onscreen, but someone as talented as Rapace takes some of the pressure off in terms of portrayal. Yet there’s also the distinct fact that she deserves better than almost anything she’s done since portraying Lisbeth in the Swedish versions of the Millennium film trilogy. Dead Man Down, Child 44, Alien: Covenant, and Bright are not endearing movies in the slightest. Rapace has obviously proven herself capable of leading movies, but nothing really substantial has come her way for a long time. Here’s to hoping Angel of Mine will buck that trend.
Related Topics: Noomi Rapace