2 November 2000 | FlickJunkie-2
Charming but insubstantial
This bittersweet story focuses on the day-to-day lives of common folks in 1960's Ireland. At the center of the story is its namesake, Agnes Browne (Anjelica Houston), who has just lost her husband and is struggling to support her seven children. The film presents a slice-of-life of families struggling to stay afloat, but trivializes their plight by making its heroine's greatest ambition a trip to a Tom Jones concert.
While the story has some charming and poignant moments, it is mostly mundane and lacks the ability to keep all but the most sentimental viewer engaged. It skims the surface poverty but lacks the depth to draw us in. Unlike `Angela's Ashes' which gives a gripping account of poverty and its human cost, this film just tries to bounce merrily along and make the best of things. The humor was low brow and the Tom Jones ending was hokey in the extreme.
Two actors stand out, namely Anjelica Houston and Marion O'Dywer. Houston carries the entire cast with a standout performance that is spontaneous and heartwarming. O'Dwyer has a radiant smile and affability that makes her seem like she could be anyone's best bud. The chemistry between the two was excellent.
Overall, this was a human-interest story that was very human, but not very interesting. I rated it a 6/10.