Defiant, self centred young Angel Deverell (Romola Garai) lives with her mother (Jacqueline Tong) above their grocery shop in a small town in early 20th century England. She is fully confident that she is a gifted young writer and dreams of success, fame and love. When she finds a publisher for her first novel, Theo (Sam Neill) who'll take a chance on her, her dreams begin to come true. Success quickly introduces her to new possibilities, including the handsome Esmé (Michael Fassbender), brother to her biggest fan, Nora (Lucy Russell). While Nora becomes her personal secretary and confidante, Esmé becomes her husband. When war breaks out, Esmé enlists much to Angel's horror; she becomes isolated, falls ill and her life spirals out of control. Esmé returns disabled, and his secrets destroy what's left of Angel's life.

A tale of exclusion and the magic it takes to become accepted.

French director Francois Ozon, best known for Swimming Pool, brings us Angel – an epic tale of a young English writer who dreams of success, fame and love.

Set in a small town outside London at the turn of the century, the film follows Angel Deverell a writer whose imagination knows no bounds. She refuses to deal with life as it is, preferring life the way she sees it!

From a working class background, Angel's writing will be her passport to the life she believes should have been hers to begin with. Her first novel is published to great acclaim, setting her on her path.

Everything about Angel's life seems both charmed and strangely doomed. Ozon, who also wrote the piece, looks at what happens when dreams come true and what price they come at.

Ozon constantly pits reality against illusion. Highlighted effectively when Angel falls in love with the angry Artist Esme whose dark disposition is at odds with the times and Angel's childlike view of the world.

Angel played by Romola Garai, is mercurial, manipulative and strangely beguiling. She is so self centred that it defies belief.

Garai's portrayal is forthright and unapologetic. It works a treat, though I imagine could annoy some. Sam Neil, as always, is wonderful as her patient publisher.

This is a lavish spectacle, rich in colour and texture. Ozon's confident direction beautifully pays homage to the technicolour films of the 40s.

The film covers a lot of ground in 2 hours. It waned a little in the middle but recovered to be quite thought provoking. 3.5 stars, Angel is in cinemas now.