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An engaging follow-up to The McCourts of Limerick, this documentary proves there's more to the colorful Irish McCourt family than the earlier events immortalized in Frank McCourt's Pulitzer Prize-winning bestseller Angela's Ashes. Here we follow the brothers--Frank, Malachy, Mike, and Alphie--through their adventures in America, beginning with Frank's arrival in New York in 1949. While Frank would find his calling in the public classroom, Malachy opened what would become New York's first and most famous single's bar, called Malachy's, which would attract carousing celebrities and catapult Malachy to local and national fame as a talk-show raconteur.
Malachy is still the one you'd want to party with, while bartender Mike is more pensive and introspective; Frank is the elder sibling and eloquent storyteller, and Alphie is the youngest and most pragmatic, and a devoted "da" to his learning-impaired daughter. Anecdotes flow like Guinness, accompanied by a wealth a family photos, home movies, and video. But what anchors this clan is their Irishness in America--the history that made them who they are and the miseries that make their success and survival so deeply rewarding. Lovingly directed by Malachy's son Conor, this heartfelt film culminates in the symbolic burial of the McCourt's long-lost sister Mary Margaret, commemorated by a brass nameplate in a New York cemetery. The rush of emotions is powerful here, and we come away with an even deeper appreciation for this wonderful family, and the deep-rooted joys and sorrows that resonate on a universal level. --Jeff Shannon
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