Angels & Insects

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2 1/2

Content: -3

William Adamson (Mark Rylance), an insect scientist, was returning to England from a study in the Amazon when his ship sank, taking most of his collections. Mr. Alabaster (Jeremy Kemp), head of an aristocratic English family, has an interest in biology and invites Adamson to live with his family. In return, Adamson undertakes the organization of Mr. Alabaster's zoological specimens and conducts nature studies for the younger Alabaster children. Adamson takes particular interest in Eugenia (Patsy Kensit), the oldest daughter. In spite of her brother Edgar's (Douglas Henshall) disapproval of Adamson's non-aristocratic background, Eugenia marries Adamson. Matty (Kristin Scott Thomas), tutor to the Alabaster children, begins to assist Adamson in his studies and he is impressed with her intelligence and talent in drawing. A poor relative of the Alabasters, Matty also knows family secrets that Adamson learns by surprise. Angels & Insects is an interesting character study comparing this Victorian family to a colony of ants, but its slow pace limits its audience appeal.

Perhaps because of the Victorian setting, this film is almost devoid of objectionable language, except for Edgar using one obscene slang expression. Also, in discussions about evolution Mr. Alabaster says that Darwin's teachings leave him confused since he was taught to believe in the biblical account of creation and that beauty in nature is a sign of a Creator. Obviously, however, other family members lack their father's interest in spiritual matters. Incest between Edgar and his sisters, Edgar's ill-mannered insults which are blamed on his alcohol over-indulgence, and his implied sexual involvement with a servant indicate his lack of morals. Numerous scenes of sex, mostly between Adamson and Eugenia, include female full frontal nudity. Sibling incest is shown once with full male frontal nudity and implied as a family habit. Adamson is a good man, refraining from angry confrontations and doing his best to fulfill his obligations. When he learns of the incest, he shows anger but waits to decide what is best for his family. However, his attraction to Matty develops into an implied adulterous affair. Eugenia admits knowing her actions are bad but shows little hope of changing. Incest, nudity, and sex make this a Victorian secret not to be seen.

Preview Reviewer: Paul Bicking
Samuel Goldwyn Co., 10203 Santa Monica Blvd. Ste 500, Los Angeles, CA 90067-6403

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: None

Obscene Language: One slang expression

Profanity: None

Violence: None

Sex: Several (6) times - graphic with nudity (4 married couple, 1 incest), unmarried couple w/o nudity

Nudity: Several times (full frontal female and male, breast nudity, male rear); near nudity (women in low cutdresses)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Several times (description of insect mating, sensual kissing, conversations implying incest)

Drugs: Wine drinking, pipe smoking

Other: Darwin's teachings discussed, Creator given credit for beauty in nature

Running Time: Unknown
Intended Audience: Adults

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