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Movie Review: Angela's Ashes

Story: To be sure, the Irish have a lock on heartache and hardship, and as most of you already know, I am a sucker for 'all things Irish' - from the wee people to The Troubles - I am totally caught up in their saga and rarely miss a film on the subject. This film was adapted by Laura Jones and English director Alan Parker (Midnight Express, Fame, Angel Heart, Evita) from Frank McCourt's wonderful book about his childhood in Limerick, Ireland in the 30's and 40's. It doesn't have the soul, adventure and humor of the book but it does capture the irrepressible faith, nature and spirit of the Irish people to continue without much anger (except of course towards the British and/or the Protestants - but that's a whole other movie). True, the nitty, gritty slop and slime of the book is prettified for the screen but I didn't care. Those accents, the angelic faces and the unbearable troubles made me cry and gave me some tugs at the heart...it did, indeed.

Acting: British actress Emily Watson (who is always terrific but is overexposed these days) makes you cry just looking at her soulful eyes. Scottish actor Robert Carlyle (Full Monty, Trainspotting) is portrayed as a much nicer character on screen than depicted in the book and is just fine in this role. The real starts are the three boys who play Frank McCourt - Joe Breen, Ciaran Owens and Michael Legge (a young Aiden Quinn in the making) - I fell in love with all three boys. They were just wonderful. Supporting cheers go to the weather - rain, mist, rain and more rain.

Pets: Livestock and lots of wild street dogs.

Visual Art: Portraits of Jesus and Pope Leo.

Soundtrack: Lots of violins

Tissue Usage: 2

Length: 20 minutes over the 2 hour rule.