A thinly veiled biopic of 50 Cent's road to gangsta rap success, Get Rich or Die Tryin' is at times a wildly successful portrait of human perseverance and at others a weakly plotted study in cinematic cliché.
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Christy Brown (who died eight years before this film was made) was born with C.P. and pretty much assumed by his family to be retarded beyond hope until -- as a pre-teen -- he proved he could scrawl a word on the floor with his toes. Encouraged by his mother (Brenda Fricker), Christy learns to read and write, and even paint. Meanwhile, of course, adversity waits at every turn.
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Set in the year 1967, the film follows the struggles of Agnes Brown, (Anjelica Huston) a recent widow battling to keep her irregularly large family intact (six boys and a girl, ranging in age from 2 to 14). In order to give her husband the funeral he deserves, Agnes must borrow money from the menacing loan shark Mr. Billy (Ray Winstone). As she attempts to pay him back in weekly installments, he terrorizes her and her small children at every street corner. To make ends meet, Agnes sells fruit and vegetables on the street along with her best friend Marion Monks (Marion O'Dwyer). The two are inseparable and Marion is, ironically enough, Anjelica's guardian angel, as she brightens Agnes life and helps her in times of desperate need. When Pierre (Arno Chevrier, a Gerard Depardieu look-alike) comes along in the form of a neighborhood French baker and takes an interest in Agnes, sparks fly as she tries to forge a personal life of her own with the possibility of newfound love, all while dealing with the nuisance of seven hellion children.
Continue reading: Agnes Browne Review
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