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 »
An aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960s decides to write a book detailing the African-American maids' point of view on the white families for which they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis.
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 suggest you read the book... and keep an open mind.
I've read both Angela's Ashes, and 'Tis (the sequal also by McCourt), and I think that really helped get a good perspective of what's going on. A lot happens that we aren't shown in the movie, which makes sense considering a word for word rendition of the text would be far too long.
But reading the book provides you with a little more background- more insight as to WHY the family is in the situation it is (the mother was "knocked up" and the two were forced into marriage and family life that probably NEITHER were ready for), and especially the impact of the death of the little baby girl had- most notable in the father.
All in all, it was a great film... seriously. It's the memories a poor Irish childhood- but the best part is that much of it is told through the eyes of a 'child' (even if its in retrospect). The reason that it is unique, I think, is that if the viewer is open enough, they can get beneath the obvious misery that we're pelted with and really see the innocence of a child through out the story.
I get really irritated with those that brush it off as "been there, done that", or "Woe is me, I was a poor Irish child." I think that shows ignorance and disgusting apathy- go watch a movie where stuff explodes to keep your feeble mind occupied, because you obviously are too shallow to understand what you're seeing. Imagine yourself as that child- in a nation full of families stuck in the same rut. This isn't some Hollywood drama concocted... this is(was) someone's LIFE. And the movie sticks very much to the book- I remembered many of the exact lines word for word from the text. Also... a few people have complained about the 'incomplete' ending. That's pretty much exactly where the book ends- read (horror of HORRORS!) the sequal, 'Tis, to find out the rest.
Either way- very touching film. Definitely dark and deep, and I recommend it to anyone who has an open mind.
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