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Wednesday, 12 January, 2000, 06:00 GMT
Angela's Ashes premieres in UK

The film's stars Ciaran Owens, Emily Watson and Michael Legge The film's stars Ciaran Owens, Emily Watson and Michael Legge


Double Oscar-nominated actress Emily Watson was among the celebrities and new faces who attended the British premiere of the film version of bestselling novel Angela's Ashes.

Ms Watson stars alongside Robert Carlyle in the movie directed by Alan Parker of Frank McCourt's memoirs of his family and their efforts to escape poverty in pre-war Limerick in the Republic of Ireland.


Scot Robert Carlyle plays Watson's alcoholic husband
TV presenter Ulrika Jonsson, former EastEnders' star Patsy Palmer and actor John Hurt were also at the charity screening of Alan Parker's movie at the Odeon in Leicester Square.

Ms Watson said it had been "quite intimidating" meeting the author when he appeared during filming.

"You build this fiction up in your head about whatever you're doing and then that person turns up," she said.

"But you can recognise the little boy from the story in the man. He's fantastic and funny and gracious."

Parker said it had been difficult making the film at times because of the wet and the cold, but added: "In the end we went home to fancy hotels which is more than can be said for the kids in the story."

He said he had been drawn to the book by its "incredible humanity".

There have been criticisms that the film overemphasises the poverty and conditions at the time, but Parker said only three or four people in the whole of Limerick were unhappy with the results "and they haven't even seen the film".

'Tear in my eye'

McCourt liked the film very much, he said. "He saw it first when I finished it and I said to him 'don't talk to anybody, certainly not the press, if you don't like it'.


Anne Diamond Anne Diamond arriving at the Odeon in Leicester Square
"But the very next day he was in the New York Times saying he loved it."

Also at the premiere was actress Pauline McLynn - best known as Mrs Doyle in Channel Four's Father Ted - who appears in the film.

She said: "I had a tear in my eye myself when I was leaving the cinema after I first saw it. It's wonderful."

Other guests included TV presenters Ann Diamond and Angus Deayton, actor Jimmy Nail and Culture Secretary Chris Smith.

The film opens at UK cinemas on Friday.
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04 Aug 99 |  Entertainment
Evita director heads film council

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