Angela's Ashes

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2

Content: -2 1/2

Grim. Thats the most descriptive word for this heartbreaking story about a family struggling to survive in Ireland of the 1930s. Its based on the best-selling autobiographical novel by Frank McCourt. Angela McCourt (Emily Watson) is married to Frank (Robert Carlyle), a neer-do-well who loves his family, but loves the bottle more. Every year Angela has another baby, and every year a baby dies from malnutrition. The family lives in squalor, forcing Angela to beg food for her hungry family. We watch Frank, Jr. (Joe Breen) grow into a teenager, determined to make his way to America. Young Frank idolizes his fun-loving father. But when he discovers him drunk in the local pub while the family is starving, his love turns to disgust and hate. Emily Watson will probably earn an Oscar nomination and fans of the book may flock to see ANGELAS ASHES. But for the average moviegoer, its much too depressing.

Although she is often turned away, after standing in line for hours to get help from the priests, Angela never loses faith. Forced to move in with a repulsive bachelor, she prepares meals which her unfed children watch him eat. Each night, she must empty his slop jar, then climb into his bed. Young Frank and his teenage friends have trouble controlling their hormones and, after engaging in self-gratification, go to confession. When Frank hears about a terminally ill teenage girl who enjoys sex, he calls on her. Soon, they are both sprawled naked on the sofa with rear male and brief female breast nudity shown. Again, he visits the priest for absolution. In another incident, the boys gasp as some teenage girls tease them by baring their breasts. Franks determination to overcome poverty is uplifting. After he is almost blinded by coal dust while delivering sacks of coal, he finally gets a job delivering mail and writing letters for a wealthy widow. But he stumbles onto a sum of money in the widows home and cannot resist the temptation to steal. Teenage sexual behavior, 10 obscenities and a few regular profanities further damage the depressing scenes in ANGELAS ASHES.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Paramount Pictures, 5555 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles CA 90038, and Universal Pictures

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (13) times - Moderate

Obscene Language: Many (10) times - S-word 5, f-word 2, other 3

Profanity: Few (4) times - Regular (sweet J 1, Jeez 1, J 2)

Violence: Few times (teacher uses strap on students fighting, boy bloodies nose)

Sex: Few times (married couple in bed, no nudity; teenagers with nudity; implied once by sounds)

Nudity: Few times (teenage girls bare breasts, boys bare buttocks, male rear nudity and female breast nudity in sex scene, naked babies in bath)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Several times (wife rejects husbands advances, passionate embraces, boys discuss girls bodies/ their own sexuality)

Drugs: Many times, not condoned (fathers frequent drinking and drunkenness, smoking)

Other: Strong Catholic family; mother forced to beg; man and sons urinating

Running Time: 145 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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