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Irish Movies

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by Beth Rowen

Angela's Ashes (1999)

Frank McCourt's memoir Angela's Ashes was successful because he infused his poverty-stricken youth with wit, hope, and a knack for storytelling. Alan Parker's 1999 film adaptation enlivens a miserable story with romanticized ghettos, beautifully soot-stained urchins, and other tragedies made pretty.

Three boys play McCourt at various stages of his life. Emily Watson works well as mother Angela, a woman tormented by her husband's (Robert Carlyle) alcoholism. Instead of unleashing the destructive unpredictability of a drunk dad, director Parker settles for pleasant vignettes and apt details, glossing over of the grim bits that were a constant throughout the book's narrative.

Movie Poster for Angela's Ashes

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More Facts and Fun for St. Patrick's Day

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Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan is the only baseball player to have his number retired by three teams—Texas, Houston and California. This doesn't include Jackie Robinson whose No. 42 was retired by all teams.

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