An Angel at My Table is a dramatisation of the autobiographies of New Zealand author Janet Frame. Originally produced as a television mini-series, the film, as with Frame's autobiographies, is divided into three sections, with the lead role played by three actresses who portray Frame at different stages of her life: Karen Fergusson (child), Alexia Keogh (adolescent), and Kerry Fox (adult). The film follows Frame from when she grows up in a poor family, through her years in a mental institution, and into her writing years after her escape.
An Angel at My Table was the first film from New Zealand to be screened at the Venice Film Festival, where it received multiple standing ovations and was awarded the Grand Special Jury Prize despite evoking yells of protest that it did not win The Golden Lion. In addition to virtually sweeping the local New Zealand film awards, it also took home the prize for best foreign film at the Independent Spirit Awards and the International Critics' Award at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film not only established Jane Campion as an emerging director and launched the career of Kerry Fox, but it also introduced a broader audience to Janet Frame's writing.