Agnes Browne (1999)    1 Stars

“When Agnes Browne’s husband died, she discovered something amazing… Herself.”

Agnes Browne (1999)
Agnes Browne (1999)


Director: Anjelica Huston

Cast: Anjelica Huston, Marion O’Dwyer, Niall O’Shea

Synopsis: The unexpected death of her husband sends a woman and her seven children into emotional turmoil and financial crisis in 1967 Dublin.






Agnes Browne is a pleasant enough little movie, boosted by fine performances from Marion O’Dwyer and the ever-dependable Ray Winstone (The Departed, The Sweeney). Angelica Huston (The Addams Family, 50/50) also does well as both star and director. Unfortunately, not for one moment does she look anything like a poor, struggling recently-bereaved Irish housewife – no, she looks like a Hollywood movie-star playing a poor, struggling etc., etc., No sign here of the unsightly lines or wrinkles, or sense of ingrained weariness you might expect from a single mother of seven struggling to hold things together.

The slight storyline unfolds at a pleasant pace, side-lined occasionally by amusing little set-pieces that add nothing much to the plot, and which don’t act sufficiently enough as devices for character development to justify inclusion. It’s tempting to believe these moments were added to pad out an already short running time.

Unfortunately, the ending of Agnes Browne is a complete disaster, sending a film that already bears only a passing resemblance to real life on a completely false flight of fantasy that goes a long way towards nullifying much of the good work that has gone before.

(Reviewed 4th February 2002)

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