Angela's Ashes

1999

Drama

105
IMDb Rating 7.3 10 19,822

Synopsis


Downloaded times
August 12, 2020

Director

Cast

Boris Karloff as Dr. Meissen
Emily Watson as Angela McCourt
Kerry Condon as Theresa
Robert Carlyle as Father MacAvoy
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.31 GB
1280*720
English 2.0
R
23.976 fps
145 min
P/S N/A / N/A
2.69 GB
1920×1080
English 2.0
R
23.976 fps
145 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by FlickJunkie-2 9 / 10 / 10

Affecting look at the human face of poverty

The trouble with making a movie out of a Pulitzer Prize winning book is that no matter how good and true to the book it is, it will usually be a disappointment. This has a lot to do with the difference between reading a story and seeing one. When one reads a book, it is usually done over time, perhaps a week or two. The words stir the imagination and the scenes described become images, usually more illusory than real. There is plenty of time for this process to work. A film, in contrast, is viewed over a period of about two hours, where the viewer is perceiving rather than imagining. The portrayals are well defined and no matter how creative the director, it is very difficult to create scenes that equal those of readers who have previously conjured fantastic images in their heads. I believe this is the reason this film was such a disappointment to so many viewers who had read the book. Thankfully, I saw the film first, so I had no preconceived notions. With that fresh perspective, I must say that it was outstanding. It the story is taken from the memoirs of Frank McCourt, who recounted his childhood in Ireland in the 1930's and 1940's. It is a poignant and compelling story of a poor family struggling to survive. The images are powerful depictions of the indignity of indigence in a world where hunger and disease were common and people went almost as frequently to the cemetery as to the market. Alan Parker brings us a starkly realistic view of McCourt's Ireland. He scoured Ireland to find a ghetto that brought forth the images described in the book, but after an exhaustive search, he decided to build the lane from scratch using McCourt's photographs. Upon visiting the set, McCourt said it was chillingly accurate and he couldn't believe he wasn't back home. Parker desaturated the color to give the film a very stark look, consistent with the squalor he was trying to portray. Paradoxically, the loss of color intensity intensified the power of the images. Though I'm not a big fan of this technique (I like rich and vibrant color), in this case it was the perfect choice. The film suffers a bit from excessive length, undoubtedly because there was so much to cover. However, when Parker bombards the viewer with disturbingly hopeless imagery for well over two hours, it becomes tedious. This is another advantage of reading a book. You can more easily put it down and come back to it. Parker sometimes overdoes certain ideas that he could have condensed. We could have done without half a dozen vomiting scenes and all the chamber pot activity. One or two such scenes would have gotten the message across. The cast was consistently excellent. Parker saw over 15,000 child actors before casting the three boys who played Frank at various ages. All three were wonderful, but my favorite was Michael Legge, the oldest Frank. He was the most hopeful person in the film, giving him character and determination, without losing his idealistic innocence. Emily Watson is a great dramatic actress and rose to the occasion to endow Angela with superhuman strength, courage and persistence in the face of crushing hardship and sorrow. Robert Carlyle was also terrific as Frank's father. He made the character a lovable man with fatal flaws. Despite his heinously irresponsible behavior squandering money on drink as his family starved, his charming nature and effusive affection for the children evoked as much love from us as disgust. This is a brilliant production. Though many who read the book were disappointed, I must point out that Frank McCourt, who wrote the book, was unabashed in praising it for its realism in capturing his impressions and feelings of the times. I rated it a 9/10. Other than a bit of overkill, this is superb filmmaking giving us an affecting look at the human face of poverty.

Reviewed by ccthemovieman-1 7 / 10 / 10

A Rarity: A Film Totally True To The Book

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.

Reviewed by mstomaso 7 / 10 / 10

Good adaptation of a great book

Alan Parker has made many films which adapt material from other media. I have been less than thrilled with most of these, but I've enjoyed one or two. Angela's Ashes is one of his better works, but it adapts a book which< I would argue, can not be properly adapted. This is a very pure, almost sterile, adaptation of the original memoir "Angela's Ashes" by Frank McCourt. It chronicles vignettes in the family history of the McCourt's, a poor Irish Catholic family struggling to survive in early 20th century Ireland. The film, like the book, is stark, painful, hopeful, powerful, and deftly accurate. More than a period piece, this film works as a dramatic rendering of social history. Unlike the book, this film depicts Frank's childhood from a disembodied third person perspective, though it is liberally complemented by an effective voice-over narrative drawn almost directly from McCourt's own prose. Frank is the oldest of several siblings (many of whom never reach adulthood), in a family suffering from poverty, alcoholism, and persecution. Although the film has many positive messages, like the lives of the McCourt's, it's not an easy road. Those who wish to be simply entertained should probably not bother. The performances are all exquisite. Kudos to the cast and the director for making them all look so great. Visually, the film is stunning for its starkness and powerful use of contrast. The pace is a little breathless at times, but, given the richness of the original work, this is appropriate. All considered, this is a very worthy representation of the book. The only quibble I have stems from the very act of translating what was a very intensely personal, first-person memoir into a third-person medium like film, not from anything the production team did, or from the script and cast. It would likely have been impossible in a mainstream film to depict the texture and poetics of McCourt's prose to the extent that viewers would really feel that they had grown up with him and knew him like a member of their own family. This is how the book made me feel, and seeing the movie after the book I was reminded of the feeling, but not quite so powerfully affected. I would agree that reading the book first will help you enjoy this film, however, I also believe that this stands well on its own.

Read more IMDb reviews

0 Comments

Be the first to leave a comment