Steve Daly
July 19, 1996 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Angels and Insects

Current Status
In Season
Mark Rylance, Kristin Scott-Thomas, Patsy Kensit
Philip Haas

We gave it a B+

At first Angels & Insects looks like just the sort of drawing-room snooze you’d dial past on PBS, but keep looking: This exquisitely visualized dissection of Victorian English society probes far beyond tame Masterpiece Theatre territory. Portraying a wealthy family, into which a poor entomologist marries, as a dying hive of sexual and spiritual decadence, it plays like Rules of the Game crossed with Hellstrom Chronicle. The resplendently costumed cast is occasionally scrunched at the corners of the video frame, but the spectacularly patterned, super-symbolic, Technicolor-bright clothing they don like so many predatory creatures comes richly across in a crisp video transfer. B+

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