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Based on the best selling autobiography by Irish expat Frank McCourt, Angela's Ashes follows the experiences of young Frankie and his family as they try against all odds to escape the poverty endemic in the slums of pre-war Limerick. The film opens with the family in Brooklyn, but following the death of one of Frankie's siblings, they return home, only to find the situation there even worse. Prejudice against Frankie's Northern Irish father makes his search for employment in the Republic difficult despite his having fought for the IRA, and when he does find money, he spends the money on drink. Written by
Being married to a man from Ireland, I can really relate to this movie. I went to see his family home in 1978 and he grew up in very similar circumstances. The movie portrays the depression and drinking problems the Irish have. Emily Watson is great as his mother- she has to swallow her pride and beg so her kids can have food and clothes. The Vincent De Paul society is a great presence in Ireland. The way the kids are beat in school is right on- my husband tells me horror stories of how the priests and nuns treated him. Like Frankie he was able to get out of the country when he was 19-- This movie captures both the good and the bad of McCourt's book. I showed it to my son so now he understands his father a lot better. As a whole the movie deserves a lot of credit for staying true to McCourt's words. Robert Carlyle is good as Frankie's father. Everyone in the movie-- fits one type of Irish personality. We still keep candles burning in front of the statue of Mary at home. I will watch this move again so I can pick up on some of the other aspects
of Irish life.
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