Friday, November 28, 2003

In America (IMDB) (Netflix)
The confusing-but-intriguing trailer for this film appeared a year ago, but wasn't followed up with the movie. Often a re-launch is a sign of a project in deep trouble, but this proves to be the pleasant exception.

Director Jim Sheridan (My Left Foot, In the Name of the Father) and his daughters tell a very intimate, semi-autobiographical story of a young Irish family coming to New York City so that the dad (Paddy Considine) can make it as an actor. It's tough going, especially living in the tenement dominated by drug users, and weighed down by the memory of a young son who died under tragic circumstances.

Heavy stuff, and these days it might be the more difficult movie-going decision, but there's much more than the melodramatic plot points, and its ambition and quality far outweighs the emotional risk. It got to me in the same way as Nowhere in Africa, but with even more impact, through a more intimate visual style and rawer performances from Considine and Samantha Morton, plus thoroughly impressive theatrical debuts from Bolger sisters Sarah and Emma.