Angela’s Christmas

Angela’s Christmas ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Director: Damien O’Connor Cast: Malachy McCourtRuth NeggaVivian Drew 

There’s so much stuff on Netflix that it’s easier miss those little things that don’t get as much attention as “the Queen’s gambit” or “Stranger things”, but they’re still worth watching. I’ve always been curious about this Irish animated short(ish), because I knew it was based on a book by Frank McCourt, the author of the heart-breaking and wonderful Angela’s Ashes (so we’re assuming the Angela of this story is the same Angela). The mood and atmosphere of this is clearly arcing back to that book and though the animation is a bit too “CG” for my taste, the lighting and settings are beautiful and very evocative.There’s a certain poignancy that permeates the story, with subtle details scattered throughout which are very telling of poverty in Ireland at the beginning of the 20th century: churches so cold that you were likely to get sick if you went in, loos outside the houses, beggars in the streets, a very tiny Christmas meal shared with a whole family (though the father is missing), cold smoke coming out of the characters… It’s all background stuff that the children will hardly notice (though I’m sure it will register in some form or another), but the central message comes across loud and clear: stealing is bad, even if for a good cause. And that’s all it needs to be, after all, it’s a children’s tale.It is a heart-warming, cosy, very simple tale that’s certainly not going change anyone’s life but believe you can do a lot worse that watching this with your kids in the time leading up to Christmas and possibly in preparation for the feature-length follow-up (Angela’s Christmas Wish) which has just hit the streaming service and I’m sure we’ll end up watching soon.

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