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Film Review

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat


Agnes Browne
Directed by Anjelica Huston
USA Films 12/99 DVD/VHS Feature Film
R - language

Elizabeth Fishel has written: "Friendship between women is a desire to know and to be known by someone who shares blood and body, history and dreams, common ground and unknown adventures of the future." Agnes Browne is a terrific movie that celebrates the natural highs of friendship.

It is 1967. With the sudden death of her working-class husband in Dublin, Agnes Browne (Anjelica Huston) finds herself hard-pressed for the money to pay for the funeral and support her seven children. She reluctantly turns to Mr. Billy (Ray Winstone), the heartless loan shark in the neighborhood.

Agnes's best friend is Marion Monks (Marion O'Dwyer) who is a fellow vendor at Market Street. One of this woman's endearing habits is to stop daily in the Catholic Church and say "good morning" to God in a loud but friendly voice. Marion is always there to help lift Agnes's spirits. She is the catalyst who pushes her friend to accept a date from Pierre (Arno Chevrier), a French baker who has a crush on her. Agnes and Marion spend a day off from the fray when they visit a nearby beach.

Agnes Browne is Anjelica Huston's second film as a director; the first was Bastard Out of Carolina (1996). This heart affecting drama is based on The Mammy, a best-selling novel by Brendan O'Carroll. In addition to the sustenance she draws from her friendship with Marion, Agnes has a dream of attending a Tom Jones concert. Although it seems as if there's no chance of this coming true, there are friendly forces at work in the universe paving the way for her.


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Reviews and database copyright 1970 2012
by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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