What a dream of a film is Angela's Ashes - magical.
I saw the film BEFORE I read the wonderful book (get it now!!!) and was prepared for what you almost always get - something completely different. Not so. As the other reviewer said, the film is amazingly loyal to the book - save for the odd thing here and there, which detracts so very little from the general feel of the book which has translated so well onto the screen in this case.
Frank is just the same in the book - and the atmosphere of constant hunger, cold, damp and desperation is brought to life just as it feels in the book.
The book is more humourous in tone than the film, BUT the film still strikes a good balance I think.
In the book, you get more background into Frank's father which will help explain his actions and eventual abandonment of his family. That was the only thing with the movie - that you were left a bit unclear why or how Malachy Snr could have walked away like that. It is something of a loose end. That aside, I was captivated from the first frame to the last and this must be one of the best films I have seen in a long time.
The result is a tender, bitter-sweet, nostalogic, heartrending tale of a wee lad from Limerick caught up in shocking poverty, and such trying circumstances. How the poor lamb soldiers through it is a wonder, and you cannot get through the film (or the book) without real admiration for Frank and his family and how hard they strive to cope together.
The locations really do give the right feel to the places Frank lived and played in, and the casting is superb - especially the little guy that plays "little" Frank. Oh, he's a treasure to watch.
A must see - a must have: as is the book which you simply cannot go without reading.