*** Official IN AMERICA Review Thread

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Haggai, Dec 25, 2003.

  1. Haggai

    Haggai Producer

    Nov 3, 2003
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    I saw this movie today, and I thought it was excellent. The performances from the four main characters were wonderful. A couple of negative thoughts: I'm not sure how successful the whole story line with Mateo really is. There were some nice scenes with him, like when he warms up to the girls when they come to trick or treat, and when he sits on the swings outside and discusses things with Johnny. However, I didn't really like how they handled the confrontation scene between him and Johnny, which, strangely enough, is the first thing that garners praise from Ebert in his review. I do like the character development that emerges from that scene at the end, when Johnny realizes that Mateo is dying, but the set-up dialogue that the two characters have in that scene felt over-the-top to me.

    Good scenes, which were far more numerous than the one I just mentioned that I didn't like too much: pretty much all the stuff between the girls was great, the tension building between Johnny and Sarah was well done, and the last scene on the terrace was really heart-breaking. It was well established that Johnny had gone into an emotional shell since Frankie's death, and Paddy Considine just nailed that last scene where he releases his emotions, after Sarah wishes for him to let the ghost of Frankie out of their lives. He was completely convincing as someone who hasn't showed such deep emotion in a long time, but who's now confronted with a situation where he can release it.
    And oh, yes, the rapping white stockbroker in the taxi cab was classic.

    Several of the reviews that I've glanced at, even some of the positive ones, claim that the story is overly schmaltzy or manipulative. I can sort of see where that complaint is coming from, given the criticism I made above, plus a few other things I didn't mention, but the power of the performances absolutely carried the story for me. I felt that these four people were a completely real family, with real problems, and real feelings for each other.
  2. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator

    Dec 9, 1998
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    This thread is now the Official Review Thread for "In America". Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread.

    Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning!

    If you need to discuss those type of issues then I have designated an Official Discussion Thread.


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