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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

IN AMERICA (2002)

Heartfelt, yet oddly unmoving story (semi-autobiographical?) about a wounded Irish family (Mom, Dad, two girls all missing a dead son) who move circa 1980 to a tough downtown NYC neighborhood. Doing odd-jobs while Dad auditions for acting gigs, they hang on by their thumbs and find a growing attachment to their new home, especially the violently angry African artist two floors down who’s dying of AIDS (a magnificent looking Djimon Hounsou). Writer/director Jim Sheridan dares to make them a rather selfish/needy bunch, but then asks for pity all the same, and he sets up some extremely odd parallel cutting sequences. As dad, Paddy Considine looks like an ironed out Stephen Rea, but without Rea’s empathetic magic, while junior tyke, Emma Bolger, is a tiny ringer for Susannah York.

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