Monday, August 09, 2004

In America

I first heard about the film In America when the 2004 Academy Award nominations came out. It was nominated for three awards, including Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Original Screenplay. I finally had the opportunity to view this film this weekend.

In America is a story about an Irish family of four who comes to New York City and starts a new life in Hell's Kitchen. They battle with poverty, a change in cultures and the still fresh wounds of the recent loss of their son. The film is basically a one man project. Jim Sheridan directed the film and co-produced it. Sheridan also co-wrote the Oscar-nominated screenplay along with his two daughters.

As expected, the acting was outstanding in this film. Samantha Morton of Minority Report fame received the Best Actress nomination for her portrayal of the wife. Djimon Hounsou received a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his portrayal of the mysterious downstairs neighbor. Hounsou was excellent in this film just as he was in Amistad and Gladiator. However, I believe that the most compelling acting in this film came from real life sisters, Sarah and Emma Bolger. These young girls alone make the film worth watching.

In America provides a gritty portrayal of a struggling Irish family in one of America's toughest neighborhoods without resorting to gratuitous language and violence and the sexuality is contained within the marital context. Although I probably will not watch this movie again any time in the near future, I would say that it was a worthwhile use of an hour and forty minutes.