In America

Director: Jim Sheridan

Jim Sheridan’s most autobiographical film, this tale of an Irish family settling in New York following the death of their young son drew on his two older daughters’ memories of coming to the city as children. The loss of a child is an acknowledgement of the death of Sheridan’s own brother, an event to which the director often refers. Shot in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, In America is thus a story about coming to terms with bereavement. Still, it is not a morbid film, but one filled with celebrations of life. At the heart of it lie two remarkable performances, from sisters Sarah and Emma Bolger as the young girls, Christy and Ariel. The complexity of the relationship between their parents is realised by more fine acting from Paddy Considine and Samantha Morton. Magical interventions, not least from E.T., make this a heart-warming piece that garnered several Academy Award nominations for writing and acting.

Age: 15

Notes by Ruth Barton.

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