Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Download Ex Machina
Before the DVD release on 8th June
Win Premiere Tickets
To see Mission: Impossible in Vienna.
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Samantha Morton
Paddy Considine
Sarah Bolger
Emma Bolger
Djimon Hounsou.
Directors
Jim Sheridan.
Screenwriters
Jim Sheridan
Naomi Sheridan
Kirsten Sheridan.
Running Time
105 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
Terminator Genisys
2 Star Empire Rating
Magic Mike XXL
2 Star Empire Rating
Dear White People
4 Star Empire Rating
Man With A Movie Camera
5 Star Empire Rating
Hot Pursuit
3 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Man With A Movie Camera
5 Star Empire Rating
Salt Of The Earth, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Song Of The Sea
5 Star Empire Rating
Look Of Silence, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Mad Max: Fury Road
5 Star Empire Rating

In America
A child's-eye view of her family's emigration to rougher parts of New York after her brother's death.


submit to reddit


Plot
Ten year-old Christy moves to America with her family after the death of her brother, Frankie. They start their new life in a run-down New York apartment block, populated by 'junkies and prostitutes', and soon meet a mysterious painter, Mateo, whose friendship will change their lives.


Review
Jim Sheridan's In America received standing ovations at its Toronto, Sundance and Edinburgh Film Festival screenings. Often it's hard to see why films like this have been so hyped at festivals, but Sheridan's semi-autobiographical tale is an exception.

Loosely based on his experiences of moving to America to set up the Irish Arts Theatre, the masterstroke here is to tell the story from his daughters' viewpoint (both of whom helped with the screenplay). What could have been a self-indulgent exercise becomes a deep exploration of grief in the younger generation, made more poignant by the astounding quality of the two real-life sisters cast in these roles. Sarah Bolger, in particular, has a maturity and depth not seen in a young actor since Haley Joel Osment in The Sixth Sense.

Of course, this child's view does add a sentimental tone to the script, and there are scenes involving loner artist Mateo's growing affection for the family which could have the less saccharine-inclined reaching for the vomit bags. While Djimon Hounsou isn't bad, his role is the one jarring note in the film. Paddy Considine emerges as a real presence as the roguish father, while Samantha Morton's ethereal nature perfectly suits a mother torn between grieving for her son and rejoining her remaining family.

The original title for the film was East Of Harlem, so it's no surprise that the other most obvious presence is the New York slums. The movie is effused with affection for this area, and what could have been a depressing setting transforms into a fairy-tale backdrop as the seasons change. Snow falls into comforting blankets and heat seems to condense, steam-like, on the screen. It's these touches to Sheridan's most personal work that lend it a poetic quality and make it a fitting film for him to dedicate to his brother Frankie, who died from a brain tumour aged just ten.


Verdict
Lovingly shot, with a remarkable debut from Sarah Bolger, who along with sister Emma, gives one of the greatest ever child performances.


Reviewed by Emma Cochrane


Related Reviews

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Your Reviews

Average user rating for In America
Empire Star Rating

Glorious

A haunting, beautiful film that glows with heart and truth. Moments of comedy, devastation and joy blend into a film which boasts wonderful performances from all concerned, colourful and loving direction and an honest, affecting script. Simply wonderful ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by killervideotape at 00:58, 10 December 2007 | Report This Post



CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Mirror Match: 10 Movies Where Your Evil Twin Attacks
A new challenger enters… and it’s YOU (but with bad facial hair)

Please Explain! With Arnold Schwarzenegger...
Plus Emilia Clarke on pranks, smiles and 'The Robot'

Terminator Genisys: Empire's Verdict
It wants your clothes and your (re)boots

100 Greatest Movie Characters
Your all-time favourite heroes and villains exclusively revealed!

Bonfire Of The Vanities: When Personal Projects Go Wrong
15 hubristic horrors that went straight to movie jail

Hollywood Jackanory: Stars Reading Things Out Of Context
From Ian McKellen vs. One Direction to Hugh Jackman vs. baking innuendos

Before And After: How 10 Books Changed On Their Way To Becoming Movies
...And how their authors reacted

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Empire print magazine

Delivered to your door – with exclusive subscriber only covers each month!

Subscribe and save 44%

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Empire digital magazine

Exclusive and enhanced content – get instant access via your iPad or Android device

Subscribe and save 44%

Subscribe now and save up to 67%
Print, Digital & Package options available Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)