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ANGELA'S ASHES

 
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At Theaters: 12/25/1999 On Video: 7/18/2000
Rated: R Length: 2 hr. 25 min.
Internet: Web Site Movie ID: 129920
Studio: Paramount Pictures Corp.
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Storyline Heading
In 1935, when it is more common for Irish families to leave their famine-stricken country for America, the impoverished McCourt family do the reverse. Following the sudden death of her 7-week-old daughter, Angela and her unemployable, alcoholic husband set sail from New York Harbor to Cork with their 4 children.

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DETAILED STORYLINE
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Movie Type (Genre) Heading
Drama - Angela's Ashes is a drama based on the best-selling memoir by Frank McCourt. The film is likely to appeal to fans of the book, though many sequences from the book are not represented in the film. Viewers who like serious period dramas are most likely to enjoy the film. Younger viewers will find the setting to bleak and unfamiliar, and the running time far too long.
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Cast and Crew Heading
Emily Watson (Cradle Will Rock)
Robert Carlyle (The World Is Not Enough)
Joe Breen (Debut)
Ciaran Owens (Agnes Browne)
Michael Legge (Soft Sand, Blue Sea)
Director: Alan Parker (Evita)
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Production Notes Heading
About The Production
About The Casting
About The Location
Location ( Continued)
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Content Heading
PROFANITY: Strong and fairly frequent
SEX/NUDITY: Some nudity; scenes of masturbation
VIOLENCE: Schoolmasters whipping children
DRUGS/ALCOHOL: Frequent portrayals of drunkenness
ACTION: One schoolyard fight
COMEDY: Sexual content used for humor; religious humor
DETAILED CONTENT
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Critic's Review Heading
Above Average
I have not read the much-loved memoir by Frank McCourt on which Angela's Ashes is based, but every indication is that the film re-creates McCourt's Limerick of the 1930s and 1940s magnificently. As a snapshot of existence in this particular time and place, Alan Parker's adaptation of Angela's Ashes is exemplary. As a compelling story, it's not half as effective. Too much of it is admirable without necessarily being engaging, serving as a mere litany of childhood miseries. Without the father/son angle that had served the film so well, Angela's Ashes drifts into two and a half hours of variations on a grim, grimy theme.

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DETAILED CRITIC'S REVIEW
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Opinion Heading

Based on an Exit Polling of 196 Moviegoers

Ages Age Group
How
Many
Your Probability of
Enjoying This Movie
*
Would
Recommend
Movie To Friends
13-19Teens (M/F)
12
About 50/50
75%
20-29Yg Adults (M)
15
Fairly High
87%
20-29Yg Adults (F)
20
Fairly High
75%
30+Adults (M)
43
Fairly High
77%
30+Adults (F)
106
High
92%
*Possible Ratings: Very High, High, Fairly High, About 50/50, Fairly Low, Low, Very Low.

About Our Opinions

Be sure to read the DETAILED OPINIONS
The positive and negative comments made by moviegoers are very
helpful when selecting a movie that's appropriate for you and your family.

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OPINION GRAPH

OPINION OVERVIEW
The following is the original "What's Worth Watching" write-up for this movie.

Moviegoer Opinions:

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D ETAILED S TORYLINE
In 1935, when it is more common for Irish families to leave their famine-stricken country for America, the impoverished McCourt family do the reverse. Following the sudden death of her 7-week-old daughter, Angela and her unemployable, alcoholic husband, Malachy Sr. set sail from New York Harbor to Cork with their 4 children- Frank, Malachy Jr. and twins Eugene and Oliver- to return to the land which a mystified young Frank had only heard of as "where there was no work and people were dying of the starvation and the damp."

A cold greeting awaits them in Limerick by Angela's Catholic family. Her mother, sister Aggie and brother Pat have never accepted Angela's marriage to a Protestant from Belfast. Grandma lends them some money for a small place on Windmill Street, and any hope of their luck changing soon disappears with Dad not being able to find employment and Oliver dying from malnourishment and the damp. Within months, Eugene dies from the same conditions, and Dad's spirits sink lower and lower - he not only drowns his sorrows in a pint of stout he cannot afford but shamelessly uses his son's coffin as a table in the pub.

Angela relentlessly plows on for the sake of her children. She pleads with the charitable St. Vincent de Paul Society to provide them with furniture and a new mattress that is not contaminated by the consumption, and as she is cross-questioned about her husband's job prospects, Frank looks on at her enduring such humiliation to protect and care for her family.

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