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In America

( 9 )

Overview

After chronicling various chapters of Irish history in such films as In the Name of the Father and The Field, writer/director Jim Sheridan turns his lens upon his own family's experiences immigrating to the United States in the aptly titled In America. The loosely autobiographical script centers on Johnny Paddy Considine, a young actor sneaking his wife, Sarah Samantha Morton, and daughters, Christy and Ariel real-life sisters Sarah and Emma Bolger, respectively, over the Canadian border in the hopes of ...
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Overview

After chronicling various chapters of Irish history in such films as In the Name of the Father and The Field, writer/director Jim Sheridan turns his lens upon his own family's experiences immigrating to the United States in the aptly titled In America. The loosely autobiographical script centers on Johnny Paddy Considine, a young actor sneaking his wife, Sarah Samantha Morton, and daughters, Christy and Ariel real-life sisters Sarah and Emma Bolger, respectively, over the Canadian border in the hopes of jump-starting his career in New York City. They soon find that America is not the land of boundless opportunity, however, as they move into a dank, dilapidated apartment building populated by drug dealers, transients, and thugs. Johnny doesn't snag auditions as easily as he may have hoped, and he and Sarah are forced to take meager jobs after spending their savings on food, rent, and utilities. Still in grief over the untimely death of their toddler son back in Ireland, the couple find their relationship further strained by the pressures of life in the city. Little by little, however, things begin to look up for the fiercely protective family unit, especially when they befriend an eccentric artist neighbor named Mateo Djimon Hounsou. In America saw its world premiere at the 2002 Toronto International Film Festival and played to enthusiastic crowds at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival before its theatrical release in the fall of that year.
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Irish filmmaker Jim Sheridan, who chooses his projects carefully and develops them painstakingly, has outdone himself with this intensely personal, semi-autobiographical account of illegal Irish immigrants struggling to make their way in Reagan-era New York. Johnny Paddy Considine, determined to make it as an actor, immigrates along with his wife, Sarah Samantha Morton, and daughters, Christy and Ariel real-life siblings Sarah and Emma Bolger. The family is also emotionally on the run from memories of a son who died before the journey. Settling into a large but shabby tenement in the city’s run-down Hell’s Kitchen area, the individual family members absorb Gotham and are in turn absorbed by it. The evolving relationship between the mild-mannered family and the tenant below them -- a shrieking, shirtless, apparently mad artist named Mateo Djimon Hounsou -- underscores the central metaphor of assimilation. At times In America seems leisurely paced and lacking in narrative drive, but it compensates with cleverly observed vignettes that illuminate the challenges faced by any poor family trying to make a better life in a strange land. Time and again, Sheridan's situations ring true. Johnny tries to provide comfort to his family during a sweltering summer by buying an air conditioner that winds up knocking out the building’s power. His attempt to win a prize for one daughter at a street-fair concession becomes an exercise in desperation and just makes him look foolish. While Morton and Hounsou are both wonderful here -- and were recognized as such with Oscar nominations -- Considine’s work is no less splendid. His Johnny is a decent and quietly desperate man, adrift in an ambivalent cloud of grief. Despite that, In America is not a depressing film; it's actually a warmhearted reminder that strength of character is often nourished by adversity.
All Movie Guide - Michael Hastings
Over the course of four unflinching portraits of stubborn, headstrong Irish antiheroes -- My Left Foot, The Field, In the Name of the Father, and The Boxer -- no one could ever accuse writer/director Jim Sheridan of viewing the past through rose-colored glasses. That is, until In America, the filmmaker's effective but sentimental account of one family's not-so-legal immigration to New York City. No matter how many incidents in Sheridan's semi-autobiographical script are purportedly true-to-life, as presented, many of them seem unbelievable, among them: that two parents would let their daughters freely roam the halls of their seedy, drug-addict-infested tenement building; that a father would wager his family's savings on a carnival game; and that an unlikely benefactor would rescue said family from financial ruin. Despite -- or perhaps because of -- these implausibilities, In America plays more along the lines of sweet-natured fable than gritty family drama, an observation only enhanced by the film's scene-stealing pair of child actors, sisters Sarah and Emma Bolger. As the not-so-sensible parents, Paddy Considine is alternately endearing and infuriating, and Samantha Morton inappropriately seethes for most of the film's running time. Sheridan intermittently finds the right tone for the material -- wistful, bittersweet nostalgia -- but one can't help but think that if he had been more in tune with his impish daughter characters, In America would have been classic instead of just fine.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/31/2004
  • UPC: 024543129462
  • Original Release: 2002
  • Rating:

  • Source: 20th Century Fox
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Samantha Morton Sarah Sullivan
Paddy Considine Johnny Sullivan
Sarah Bolger Christy Sullivan
Emma Bolger Ariel Sullivan
Djimon Hounsou Mateo
Nye Heron Blind Man
Juan Hernandez Papo
Rene Millan Steve
Michael Sean Tighe Frank
Des Bishop Stockbroker In Taxi
Guy Carleton Man At Fair
Randall Carlton Immigration Officer
Ciaran Cronin Frankie Sullivan
Nick Dunning Gynaecologist
Bob Gallico Theatre Director
Molly Glynn Sarah Mateo
Elaine Grollman Nun On School Steps
Sarah James Papo's Girlfriend
Neal Jones Immigration Officer
Jason Killalee assistant theatre director
Kathleen King Prize-Giving Nun
Gabriela Quintero Lopez Mexican Woman Guitarist
Adrian Martinez Shopkeeper
Merrina Millsapp Marina
Tom Murphy Actor In Queue
Chary O'Dea Mexican Woman With Child
Jer O'Leary Thomas Bakewell
Bernadette Quigley Hospital Administrator
Regina Roe Administrator, Nurse
Jason Salkey Tony
Rodrigo Pineda Sanchez Mexican Man Guitarist
Eilish Scanlon Nun Playing Piano
Jennifer Seifert Angela
David Wike Barker
Frank Wood Paediatrician
Technical Credits
Jim Sheridan Director, Producer, Screenwriter
William Shackleton Arnot Camera Operator
Dan Birch Sound Mixer
Aidan Byrne Special Effects
Dermot Byrne Special Effects
John Byrne Set Decoration/Design
Moiselle Casting Casting
Susie Cullen Art Director
David Donohue Musical Direction/Supervision
Martin Fitzpatrick Special Effects
Gavin Friday Score Composer
Team FX Special Effects
Joyce Gallie Casting
Naomi Geraghty Editor
Mark Geraghty Production Designer
Vivienne Gray Art Director
Nye Heron Associate Producer
Jo Homewood Production Manager
Grant Wilfley Casting Incorporated Casting
Ken Ishii Sound Mixer
Konrad Jay Asst. Director
Avy Kaufman Casting
Kevin Kearns Special Effects
Steve Kirshoff Special Effects Supervisor
Arthur Lappin Producer
Wing Lee Art Director
Eimer Ni Mhaoldomhnaigh Costumes/Costume Designer
Nuala Moiselle Casting
Frank Moiselle Casting
Paul Myler Co-producer
Sally Osoba Casting
Declan Quinn Cinematographer
Maurice Seezer Score Composer
Naomi Sheridan Screenwriter
Kirsten Sheridan Screenwriter
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 9 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(7)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Loved this film!

    This was one of the most uplifting movie i've seen. About family, love , and caring for others. it shows how people can stick together through bonds of love. loved this movie!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    F-A-N-T-A-S-T-I-C

    I was loaned the DVD by a friend and have now bought it. I was suprised it received so little fanfare. The acting by the 'sister' is so far above the standard it's unbelievable. They [the actors] really get you to care what will happen. The Story line was warm, funny, [crying jag]sad and uplifting. I would recommend this DVD be part of the family library. Be sure not to miss the end credits.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Do not miss 'In America'

    A friend told me that I should watch 'In America'......and they were right! This movie is fantastic. The cast is flawless. Every performance is superb! The characters struggle through their hardships with a quiet dignity and grace that touches the heart. I hope this movie finds a huge audience now that it is on DVD.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Another gem from Jim Sheridan

    I love Jim Sheridan as a true auteur. His 'My Left Foot,' 'In the Name of the Father,' and 'The Boxer,' were rightfully given accolades (and Oscars). This time he's written and directed a truly personal 'little' film about the hardships of emigrating to America. Samantha Morton and Djimon Hounsou were nominated for Oscars, but I think the true 'workhorse' here is Paddy Constantine--the father character. That isn't to say that everyone isn't just absolutely fantastic. The story/script is so honest, so true; there is nothing that doesn't resonate. This film starts out along the 'immigrant to America' road, and quickly evolves into an universal statement about being human and living life as it is, playing the cards dealt. It's an amazingly seamless transformation. No, it's NOT Angela's Ashes, it's NOT depressing, it's NOT the same ol' Immigrant Coming to America, Finds Life Oh-So Hard film. It is honest and true. The only flaw: this story is set to take place in the early 80s, yet a fairly-modern camcorder is seen throughout, and new dollar bills (which were not introduced until the late 90s). It's strange how the production manager overlooked that.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A view of migrating/adapting in America

    We happened on this film during a cruise thru the Panama Canal. We viewed it several times and always came away with something new. The 'fearless' sisters, the bereaved struggling parents, a tense environment and the dynamic of their neighbor(s) was very touching; yet full of life, joy, love and coming to terms in a new home - a new land.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A definite Must See!!!

    This is a warm, thoughtful and uplifting story about a struggling family determined to make it in a new world (NYC) despite all the their hardships and pain they left behind in their homeland of Ireland. The family depicted in this film is truly heartfelt and the whimsical flare that both parents and children posess makes one remember and believe in childhood fantasy. A definite feel good movie!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Good Movie

    This is a good movie. It's a shame it wasn't available to watch at any theater where I live. I had to rent it instead. It's definitely worth buying and I'd recommend it anyday.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    sneaky great

    This movie snuck up on me. The main themes are introduced early, in the border crossing scene, but I didn't see where they were going until I had been totally sucked in. All the actors were wonderful. I cared about the characters, and the movie was brilliantly constructed. I've ordered it for May 11th and I'd recommend you do the same.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    in America

    It was a really great movie. At first I didn't think that it would be that good but it was a very good movie.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews