Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5.
USA/Ireland, 1999. Hell’s Kitchen Films, October Films. Screenplay by John Goldsmith, Brendan O’Carroll, based on the novel The Mammy by Brendan O’Carroll. Cinematography by Anthony B. Richmond. Produced by Anjelica Huston, Arthur Lappin, Jim Sheridan, Greg Smith. Music by Paddy Moloney. Production Design by David Brockhurst. Costume Design by Joan Bergin. Film Editing by Eva Gardos.
Based on Brendan O’Carroll’s novel The Mammy, this lyrically touching film displays Anjelica Huston‘s phenomenal talent as both actor and director. She stars as the title character, an Irish mother who is left to raise seven children when her husband dies. With these kids in her charge, and her own personal well-being to consider, Agnes charges ahead without any fear, aided by her best friend (a fantastic Marion O’Dwyer) and the love of her kids. Not in any way the dour, depressing movie you’d expect it to be, Agnes Browne is buoyed by humour and lots of love, displaying an affection for local Irish life in the sixties and capped with a wonderful Tom Jones-ex-machina plot twist. The scenes with Huston and O’Dwyer and their incredibly enviable friendship are the film’s best, the source of its laughs and greatest poignancy as well.