City Of Angels

Like supermodels, angels need no last names. Case in point: mournful Seth (Nicolas Cage), a sleek vision in black whom we first see drifting through lives in crisis, unseen except by the dying, the deluded and the innocent. He calms a convenience store owner who's being held up at gun point, nudges an air traffic controller whose attention has wandered...read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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Like supermodels, angels need no last names. Case in point: mournful Seth (Nicolas Cage), a sleek vision in black whom we first see drifting through lives in crisis, unseen except by the dying, the deluded and the innocent. He calms a convenience

store owner who's being held up at gun point, nudges an air traffic controller whose attention has wandered and escorts the newly dead away from their bodies and towards whatever awaits, gently asking them what it was they liked most about life. Always observers and never participants, Seth and

his fellow celestial spirits are sudden serenity in the face of turmoil, the glimmer of hope that banishes despair, the cold hand that clutches the hearts of the dying. Then Seth locks eyes with Dr. Maggie Rice (Meg Ryan) as she tries to save a dying patient, and he begins to wonder what it would

be like to experience human life in all its unpredictability. In the long, sorry history of bad ideas, remaking Wim Wenders' poetic masterpiece WINGS OF DESIRE with the director of CASPER at the helm sounded like one of the worst. But this melancholy, strikingly photographed love story will tug at

the heartstrings of the GHOST crowd without sending fans of the original film into a fury. Princess of perk Ryan isn't hugely convincing as a high-strung heart surgeon, but Cage has shrugged off most of his trademark tics in favor of a sweetly grave performance and finds a fine foil in Andre

Braugher, who plays fellow angel Cassiel. And for all the "touched by an angel" sentimentality, the movie's eerie, slightly menacing vision of black-clad angels lurking in the shadowy corners of unsuspecting lives is genuinely haunting.

MIXED-ISH - In "mixed-ish," Rainbow Johnson recounts her experience growing up in a mixed-race family in the '80s and the constant dilemmas they had to face over whether to assimilate or stay true to themselves. Bow's parents Paul and Alicia decide to move from a hippie commune to the suburbs to better provide for their family. As her parents struggle with the challenges of their new life, Bow and her siblings navigate a mainstream school in which they're perceived as neither black nor white. This family's experiences illuminate the challenges of finding one's own identity when the rest of the world can't decide where you belong. (ABC/Kelsey McNeal)
MYKAL-MICHELLE HARRIS, ARICA HIMMEL, ETHAN WILLIAM CHILDRESS

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