Angel in a Cage (1998)

Run Time - 93 min.  |   Countries - Canada   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Canadian filmmaker Mary Jane Gomes drew from her family's history and heritage for this film set in Trinidad. A group of Portuguese immigrants from Madeira have settled in the West Indies, where Alvia (Tony Nardi) and his brother Bosie (Christopher Pinheiro) operate a winery and are often at odds with each other. Alvia is an obsessive control freak, while Bosie often steals from the firm's coffers. Carmina (Maurina Gomes), Alvia's wife, is frail, disappointed with her life, and often wishes she could return to Madeira and her mother. One day, Lucio (Damon D'Oliveira), Carmina's cousin, arrives for a visit. Lucio and Carmina were infatuated with each other when they were young and the attraction has not dimmed; it's hard to miss the sparks that fly between them, and Bosie does all he can to encourage their affection as yet another way of hurting Alvia. Angel in a Cage was written and performed in an English patois authentic to Portuguese settlers in Trinidad; while many writers lauded the film for its authenticity in this regard, many of the same critics also noted the accents made the actors rather difficult for most audiences to understand.