Film Review: ‘Angelfish’

  • Variety
Destiny Frasqueri (better known to her Generation Z fans as Nuyorican rapper Princess Nokia) makes a winning, delicate screen debut in “Angelfish,” a low-key Bronx romance that proves a surprisingly muted vehicle for her outsize performing charisma. As Eva, a hard-up, lovelorn daughter of Puerto Rican immigrants, torn between familial responsibilities and a more creative, romantic life of her own, she’s fresh and unaffected on camera, retaining just enough streetwise edge from her musical persona to skirt floaty ingenue cliché. As an arrival for writer-director Peter Lee, however, “Angelfish” is slightly less persuasive: Its cross-cultural romance between Eva and Brendan (Jimi Stanton), a white high-school dropout from a broken home, feels more invested in place than character, higher on woozy summer-in-the-city atmospherics than it is on clear dramatic stakes.

Clearly made with tenderness, “Angelfish” recalls in its best moments such films as Peter Sollett’s “Raising Victor Vargas” and,
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