‘Angel of Mine.’

Kim Farrant’s psychological thriller Angel of Mine began its theatrical journey in the US last weekend, opening in 12 key cities and on demand.

The distributor Lionsgate did not share any BO figures for the movie starring Noomi Rapace, Yvonne Strahovski and Annika Whiteley, which are typically modest for a multi-platform release.

The upside will come from the October 22 release on Blu-Ray, DVD and digital followed in February by the premiere on Hulu, Disney’s streaming platform which has 28 million subscribers in the US.

Produced by Brian Etting, Josh Etting and Su Armstrong, the movie adapted by Lion’s Luke Davies and David Regal from the 2008 French film L’Empreinte de L’Ange had its world premiere at the Melbourne International Film Festival. It will open here this Thursday on 41 screens via Robert Slaviero and Richard Becker’s R & R Films.

Rapace plays Lizzie, a grieving mother who lost her infant daughter seven years earlier. When she sees Nola (Whiteley), a young girl at a neighbour’s party, she starts to believe she is her daughter. As her obsession grows, she becomes more and more entwined in the girl’s life and loses touch with reality.

Strahovski, who stars in Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale, plays Claire, the girl’s mother, in her first role in an Australian production since I, Frankenstein in 2014. The cast includes Finn Little as Lizzie’s son Thomas, Luke Evans as her former partner Mike, Richard Roxburgh and Rob Collins.

US critics generally lauded the performances although some found the premise clichéd and the plot predictable. RogerEbert.com’s Nick Allen praised Farrant’s confidence as a storyteller and Rapace’s full-bodied performance which he said “enrich the story and guide it toward its delicately bonkers premise.”

The Observer’s Rex Reed declared: “The cliché-resistant screenplay by Luke Davies and David Regal and the understated direction by Kim Farrant lead you into elements of surprise you do not anticipate as the film detours into a shock ending that will leave you wide-eyed with awe.

“The plot twist turns the tables on everyone and charges the narrative with the jolt of an electric shock treatment, but everyone involved miraculously manages to make the elements believable without piling on a lot of familiar Hollywood melodrama.”

The Los Angeles’ Times Noel Murray said: “Angel of Mine is polished; and Rapace and Strahovski don’t play their parts as stereotypes. In their scenes together — especially with Whiteley as Lola in between them — they dig deep into the fierce protectiveness of their characters. Their maternal tussle is exciting, no matter how problematic.”

The international sales agent Fortitude International has sold the film co-funded by Screen Australia and Film Victoria to nearly every major market except, oddly, Rapace’s native Sweden.

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