I like so much of Alan Parker's work. The Commitments, Angel Heart, Road to Wellville. This film is a huge disappointment. What it needs are more, much more of Frank McCourt's words. That is what makes the book so wonderful, and all that storytelling magic is completely missing from the film. It is simply a series of unconnected misfortunes, with no explanation of why all of it it was happening to this family. And the father was nowhere near as present and visible in the book as he was in the film. I almost felt sorry for him, he was portrayed so sympathetically. Sorry, he was a derelict parent who was drunk almost all the time. This movie is a humorless, humanless experience. If you read the the book, leave it at that. 'Tis not worth it.