Very loosely based on the Amanda Knox murder trial in Italy, "The Face of an Angel" is about a young filmmaker Thomas (Daniel Brühl) coming to Italy during the hearings. It's been four years since his last film and he is being hired to write and direct a true crime film about two young girls visiting Italy to study when one of them is tragically murdered.
"The Face of an Angel" is a movie of a story within another story. As Thomas tries to grasp his angle on the film, he first thinks about writing it from the view of a female reporter based on a women (Kate Beckinsale) that is helping him around the small Italian town. But at some point, Thomas becomes lost when he realizes there is no truth to be discovered for his true crime film. After trying to find solace by drinking and drugging, Thomas completely loses his way.
While grasping for a last chance at bringing his film to life, his thoughts bring him to the story of Dante's "Inferno" and a young student (Cara Delevingne) that reminds him of the young girl that was tragically killed.
"The Face of an Angel," was written by Paul Viragh, based upon the book by Barbie Latza Nadeau and was directed by Michael Winterbottom ("A Mighty Heart"). I have never been a fan of a story within a story film genre and "The Face of an Angel" is another example of how quickly a clear focus can be lost. The ending of the film clearly tries to redeem itself by poignantly giving the victim of this terrible tragedy some attention, but it is way too late to be effective.
All the lead actors, including Daniel Brühl, Kate Beckinsale and the young and pretty Cara Delevingne, do their jobs as well as they can, but without a cacique story at hand "The Face of an Angel" will long be forgotten by movie season in the fall. Ironically, the young filmmaker in this film is fired for his inabilities and I wonder why Winterbottom didn't recognized this inherent trap.
"The Face of an Angel" is not rated and has a run-time of one hour and 41 minutes.