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 ... See full summary »
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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
I doubt if I would rate this film that high if I hadn't read the book. Frank McCourt's best-seller is so good, and this movie is so true to it, that if you liked one, you'll like this because rarely has film been so close to a book. It's amazing, given what normally is the case.
Even though the film brought no surprises, I still thought it was fascinating because of the fantastic cinematography in here and the great job done by the actors. The muted colors in this film are beautiful and the lighting is superb. Then again, it's hard to go wrong with a nighttime streetlight-lit shot of cobblestone streets. The directing talents of Alan Parker were never more evident than here. He should do more movies.
The book, "Angela's Ashes," is a biography of McCourt and his extremely poor Irish family. All three boys who play McCourt at various times in his development are excellent here. The whole cast is excellent, for that matter, led by "Angela" (Emily Watson) and husband Malachy (Robert Caryle). Two sadder-looking faces, you never did see, and a more rainy, dreary town (Limerick) you never did see....so if you're looking a happy, uplifting story, pass this one by. However, if you want a film totally true to a great book, wonderfully photographed film and one acted well ....and with some unique humor to it, check this out.
I don't want to leave out the humor, the key ingredient in McCourt's otherwise- depressing days of growing up. Humor and dire poverty never went together so well as McCourt made it sound through his book and the filmmakers did through this movie.
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