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*** Official IN AMERICA Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Robert Crawford, Dec 26, 2003.

  1. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
    Moderator

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    This thread is now designated the Official Discussion Thread for "In America" please, post all comments, links to outside reviews, film and box office discussion items to this thread.

    All HTF member film reviews of "In America" should be posted to the Official Review Thread.

    Thank you for your consideration in this matter.


    Crawdaddy
     
  2. Henry Gale

    Henry Gale Producer

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    The new work from Jim Sheridan (MY LEFT FOOT, IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER).
    In America has a screenplay by Sheridan and his two daughters.
    Terry Gross interviewed the director on Fresh Air recently and he told a wonderful story about the casting of sisters Emma and Sarah Bolger in this film.
    Emma, 6 years old, was the first to read for the part. She nailed it and Jim was very impressed, but he had a room full of child actors and had to move on. As he tells it, as another kid was auditioning he felt a tug on his coat and turned to find Emma Bolger behind him. With a look of pity on her face she asked, "She's not reading MY part, is she Jim?"
    Sheridan replied, "No darlin', that part is yours."
    To which Emma responded, "My sisters in the car."
    Saw the film earlier this week. The girls are natural and very good. Much of the plot is obvious and parts are a bit slow, but I do recommend you see the movie.
     
  3. ZacharyTait

    ZacharyTait Cinematographer

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    I just finished my top 10 list for 2003 and In America was #3, behind ROTK at #1 and Matrix: Reloaded and Revolutions at #2.

    Everything about the movie was awesome. Samantha Morton and Dijimon Honsou were terrific. Sarah and Emma Bolger were wonderful. They both have a bright future. Paddy Considine was terrific as well. If I had a vote for nominations, I would vote Samantha as Best Actress, Paddy as Best Actor, Dijimon as Best Supporting Actor, and Sarah as Best Supporting Actress.

    The cinematography, editing, and art design were top notch. I liked the contrast between the dark dank building and the bright outdoors.

    I'll gladly admit that I did shed a few tears, especially when Johnny finds out that the hospital bill has been paid by Mateo as a parting gift to the family. The numerous E.T. references were wonderful, especially the final one, which I won't spoil her for those who haven't seen it.

    I'm going to go see this film a couple more times and try to drag my blockbuster loving, indie hating friends to go see it.
     
  4. ZacharyTait

    ZacharyTait Cinematographer

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    C'mon people! Some of you guys out had to have seen this. I would love to see what you thought of this wonderful movie.
     
  5. Haggai

    Haggai Producer

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    I didn't get much response from the review thread either. While I loved the movie, and I think it's absolutely as good as anything I've seen in the past year aside from ROTK, I didn't think the subplot with Mateo worked all that well. Honsou did a good job in the role, but some of the scenes felt a bit forced to me. Ebert started his review by praising the first scene between Mateo and Johnny, but I thought it was overdone. I loved the girls coming to trick or treat at his apartment, though, that was excellent. Everything with the main family interacting with each other was very moving. Anyone else like the movie but not care much for that main subplot?
     
  6. David Lawson

    David Lawson Screenwriter

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    I won't go so far as to say I "loved" the movie, although an edit to my 2003 Top Ten list might be in order. I thought a number of things worked quite well, but (as Haggai says) there are a number of forced moments.

    The beauty of this film lies in its simplicity, and that simplicity is disrupted by things like Ariel's "You aren't my daddy" outburst, Christy's "I carried this family for a year" declaration, and Johnny's afore-mentioned "I can't (whap whap whap) feel!" confrontation with Mateo. All of these instances strike me as uncharacteristic of the respective characters, and I fail to see how the first two are even necessary. Christy's address to the audience at the end also feels forced; I would have been much more pleased with closing on the emotional high of "Goodbye, Frankie."

    Performances and settings are both excellent, however, and I won't hesitate to recommend it to people, as its strengths do outweigh its weaknesses (which, in my opinion, lie only in the script).
     
  7. Haggai

    Haggai Producer

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    Quote:
    Johnny's afore-mentioned "I can't (whap whap whap) feel!" confrontation with Mateo.

    Heh, yeah, good description of that moment. I basically agree with the other specific things you mentioned, David L, they seemed kind of forced. My overall opinion in this case is that the performances and the main aspects of the family's story are very, very strong, so a few things here and there that I didn't go for ended up having only a minor effect on how much I got out of the movie, emotion-wise. As opposed to something like Cold Mountain, which I liked, and where I didn't see anything in particular that made me think, "that's kind of lame, why is that in there," but the overall impact wasn't as strong. All IMO, of course.
     

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