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Overall Rating

Awesome: 22.45%
Worth A Look40.82%
Average: 20.41%
Pretty Bad: 2.04%
Total Crap: 14.29%

4 reviews, 25 user ratings

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Angela's Ashes
[] Buy posters from this movie
by Greg Muskewitz

"Pity rape."
1 stars

When most poor, poverty stricken Irish families were leaving Ireland for the United States in 1935, Angela and Malachy McCourt were doing the opposite, bringing their two sons and 7-week-old daughter back.

They have no money after the trip and the alcoholic Malachy blows any chances of charity. The daughter dies and depression is laid on like fog, adding to an already consistent tone that is not appreciated. The majority of the movie is seen from the eldest son’s point of view, Frank (played by three different actors during the stages of adolescence). Some other “incidents” along the way include the birth and death of a least two more children, no income, flooded housing, no lavatories, lots of begging, disease and sickness, etc. Director Alan Parker doesn’t ask you, rather he makes you wallow in pity, false indulgence, and manufactured pathos. In the end you become despondent; there isn’t an ounce of feeling left. Your heart becomes numb, not because you feel for them, but because you feel cheated and manipulated. The movie is gray, both in an emotional register, and the dreary photography by Michael Seresin that looks like the color of ashes. Acting included, added to Parker’s disconnected and lackadaisical direction, the movie is a big zero, a pity raping experience. Who wants to see a movie where the characters repeatedly throw up, die, or spill urine and defecation on themselves before we feel like we’re covered in it too? There is rarely a scene that the sun shines (maybe twice) and that it stops raining, and by that time it has become inevitable and systematic: you know it won’t last for long before another tragedy ensues. Suggestion for a courtesy promotional item on the way out of the movie: a noose.

With Emily Watson, Robert Carlyle, Joe Breen, Ciaran Owens and Michael Legge.

[Not to be bothered with.]

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 01/20/00 07:04:13
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User Comments

8/16/07 marina depressing 3 stars
7/09/04 tatum Excellent 5 stars
1/29/03 Pinkline Jones The feelgood film of the Year - Lots of laughs for the whole family 5 stars
8/09/01 Valerie It was very depressing, but it left me feeling appreciative of my childhood. 4 stars
6/12/01 Terrie Smith Excellent novel but the film was a disappointment; Emily Watson keeps the film alive. 4 stars
8/18/00 Girl 9 An unpredictible captivating story with a few good laughs on the side. 4 stars
6/27/00 rob in pa Outstanding-beautifully done from start to finish. 5 stars
5/19/00 John It is good, I loved it. 5 stars
5/18/00 Elvisfan Completely unsentimental, engrossing, beautiful, heartbreaking 5 stars
5/03/00 Jean woow 5 stars
4/17/00 punkass Whilst there is real tradgedy in this film, the humour and human spirit keep you going. 3 stars
3/08/00 Dick a little long but engrossing 4 stars
2/14/00 earl duron wonderful slice of life 5 stars
2/12/00 jenn "Blu Smrf" amazing, a true work of art! it's long, yet worth every possible minute given to you! 5 stars
2/12/00 Skye Chapman parker missed boat. emotionally bland. no delight or triumph 2 stars
2/11/00 Victor Ramirez Is it just me or is Emily Whatson Hot as fuck? I think I am in love. 4 stars
2/11/00 Richard Wright Well acted and some moving parts, but far too long and they laid the tragedy a bit thick. 3 stars
2/08/00 Peter H. Burris Susceptible to mawkish sentiment, but well executed, noentheless 4 stars
1/30/00 Kevin Cho, movie-buff Disappointing from all the drama hype. Good movie, left me w/ headache. 3 stars
1/30/00 Irma Schwartz Worth the long journey... 4 stars
1/23/00 Kevin Cho Tear jerker - top acting, not as good as book, but still great. 5 stars
12/28/99 Dan R. Moving and well acted. 4 stars
12/25/99 Tha Obsequious Bad Janatah Please, hang me now! Simply god-awful (sorry God!) 1 stars
12/24/99 Bozo It was beautiful & heartbreaking & even funny, sometimes all at the same time 5 stars
12/19/99 Joe-139 Excellent performances all around. 5 stars
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  21-Jan-2000 (R)



Directed by
  Alan Parker

Written by
  Alan Parker
  Laura Jones

  Robert Carlyle
  Emily Watson
  Shane Murray-Corcoran

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