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In America

Year: 2002
Director: Jim Sheridan
Writer: Jim Sheridan
Cast: Paddy Considine, Samantha Morton, Djimon Honsou
This is the first Jim Sheridan movie I've seen, and after the critical praise heaped on In the Name of the Father and My Left Foot, I expected something a little edgier and less fairy tale-like. But maybe this is Sheridan breaking out of his dark and despairing roots. It is after all a story of the struggle for triumph of good people over adversity - no differently than any of his others have been. It just seemed to be missing some of the rawness I associate with the reputation of his earlier movies.

Not that the rawness and grittiness is missing from the movie altogether, just the story. When the Irish family of Johnny, wife Sarah and cute kids Ariel and Christy move to New York, the picture seems coated with the sweaty, impoverished grime of poverty in an overcrowded slum.

The story is basically about the family trying to stay together in the face of coping in an uncertain and unforgiving town while getting over the death of their young son - it's by turns bittersweet, hopeful and melancholy as characters drift in and out of their lives, and it is touching, but only just so, almost as like a Lucas Moodysson Disney movie.

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