Many of the elements in this picture about an Irish family living in New York — picturesque poverty, an angelic, doomed black man, a dead child, a pair of cute, precocious daughters, a risky pregnancy toward the end — seem to promise a sticky bath of shameless sentimentality. But instead, thanks to Jim Sheridan’s graceful, scrupulously sincere direction and the dry intelligence of his cast, In America is likely to pierce the defenses of all but the most dogmatically cynical viewers. The film follows Johnny and Sarah Sullivan (Paddy Considine and Samantha Morton, both quietly terrific) through their daily struggles, the story feels small, almost anecdotal. –movies.nytimes.com
Jim Sheridan is a master story teller, and an acclaimed film director of few films, but good films nevertheless.
Born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1949, Sheridan moved to America in 1982, meeting a man who invited him to run the Irish Arts Center. He found a place to live in Hell’s Kitchen, New York City, and was low on finances at first. He eventually made his first film, _My Left Foot: The Story of Christy Brown (1989) _ starring Daniel Day-Lewis, about the Irish artist Christy Brown, who only had control of his left foot.
The film was a surprise success, with both Day-Lewis and co-star Brenda Fricker winning Oscars for their performances. Sheridan received two Oscar nominations for Best Director (he lost to Oliver Stone) and Best Screenplay. It was an amazing debut film, and at age 40, Sheridan was a late bloomer to the film industry. He followed up “My Left Foot” with the film The Field (1990). Starring Richard Harris a then-unknown Sean Bean and John Hurt, this film was… read more
There are great performances here, including the girls, and yet the movie is just one corny melodramatic cliche after another: magical negro, idiotic parents with no money having lots of kids. I know some of the material is anecdotic, and again, i think all the performances were solid, but the movie is stuck on this side of wanting us to feel pity about the characters, instead of respect.