Angela's Ashes (film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Alan Parker|
|Produced by||David Brown
|Screenplay by||Laura Jones
|Based on||Angela's Ashes
by Frank McCourt
|Narrated by||Andrew Bennett|
|Music by||John Williams|
|Edited by||Gerry Hambling|
|Distributed by||United States
Angela's Ashes is a 1999 Irish-American drama film based on the memoir of the same name by Frank McCourt. It was co-written and directed by Alan Parker, and starred Emily Watson, Robert Carlyle, Joe Breen, Ciaran Owens, and Michael Legge, the latter three playing the Young, Middle and Older Frank McCourt respectively.
|This article needs an improved plot summary. (October 2015)|
Angela's Ashes tells the story of Frank McCourt and his childhood after his family are forced to move from the United States back to Ireland because of financial difficulties and family problems caused by his father's alcoholism. The film chronicles young McCourt's life in Limerick, Ireland, during his childhood in the 1930s and 1940s, the difficulties that arose, and Frank's way of earning enough money to return to the land of his dreams: America.
- Emily Watson as Angela McCourt
- Robert Carlyle as Malachy McCourt
- Devon Murray as Middle Malachy
- Joe Breen as Young Frank
- Ciaran Owens as Middle Frank
- Michael Legge as Older Frank
- Kerry Condon as Theresa Carmody
- Ronnie Masterson as Grandma Sheehan
- Pauline McLynn as Aunt Aggie
- Liam Carney as Uncle Pa Keating
- Eanna MacLiam as Uncle Pat
- Susan Fitzgerald as Sister Rita
- Eamonn Owens as Quasimodo
- Eileen Colgan as Philomena
- Martin Benson as Christian brother
- Andrew Bennett as Narrator (voice)
- Alan Parker (cameo) as Dr. Campbell
- Brendan O'Carroll as Man in pub
Although set in Limerick, many street scenes were filmed in Cork. For example, the 'fleas in the mattress' scene was filmed at Farren Street, Blackpool and other scenes were shot at Roche's Buildings, Lower John Street and Barrack Street.
Angela's Ashes currently holds a 52% 'rotten' rating on review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes, and the consensus "In spite of its attempts to accurately record Frank McCourt's memoirs, the onscreen adaptation fails to capture any of the drama or humor of his life" (though the audience rating is considerably higher, at 82%.) However, Michael Legge was praised for his portrayal of the adolescent Frank. In particular, he was said to excel in his role as an innocent teenager growing up with typical coming of age rites involving sexuality, maturity and peer pressure in a Catholic Irish setting.
Differences from the book
- In the novel, the opening paragraph describes Angela's upbringing. It tells how Angela's brother Pat became developmentally disabled by being dropped on the ground by Angela's father throwing him in the air, and that Angela's pregnant mother told him to leave, so he "ran out the door and didn't stop till he got to Australia". The film omits this.
- In the film, when Angela suggests naming Frank's new brother Alphonsus, and Frank exclaims that it's a stupid name, Aggie smacks the back of Frank's head. In the novel, Angela slaps Frank across the face so hard he reels backwards.
- In the film, Frank says that Irish dancers look like they have metal rods up their arses, but in the novel it is Frank's father who says that.
- The end of the film shows Frank sailing past the Statue of Liberty as he arrives in New York City. In the book he lands at Poughkeepsie.
- Winner Best Picture - Irish Film and Television Awards
- Winner Best Costume Design - Irish Film and Television Awards (Consolata Boyle)
- Winner Best Director - Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (Audience Award) (Alan Parker)
- Winner Best Original Score - Las Vegas Film Critics Society (John Williams)
- Winner Best Actress - London Film Critics Circle (Emily Watson)
- Nominee Best Original Score - Academy Awards (John Williams)
- Nominee Best Original Score - Golden Globes (John Williams)
- Nominee Best Actress - BAFTA (Emily Watson)
- Nominee Best Cinematography - BAFTA (Michael Seresin)
- Nominee Best Production Design - BAFTA (Geoffrey Kirkland)
- Nominee Best British Film - Empire Awards
- Nominee Best British Actor - Empire Awards (Robert Carlyle)
- Nominee Best Actress - Irish Film and Television Awards (Emily Watson)
- Nominee Best Actor - Irish Film and Television Awards (Robert Carlyle)
- Nominee Newcomer of Year - London Film Critics Circle (Michael Legge)
The film soundtrack was composed and conducted by John Williams, and features songs by Billie Holiday and Sinéad O'Connor. Williams was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2000 for his score.
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