Following the tragic death of their five-year-old son Frankie, Irish couple Johnny and Sarah Sullivan and their remaining two offspring, 10 year old Christy Sullivan and 5 year old Ariel Sullivan, emigrate illegally to the United States via Canada with little in their pockets. Their final destination is Manhattan where Johnny hopes to work as a stage actor. They move into a unit in a run town tenement housed primarily with drug addicts, transvestites and one tenant coined "the man who screams". They do whatever they can to eke out a supportive family environment in this difficult situation, the support which ultimately extends to those around them, most specifically "the screamer" who turns out to be an African-American artist named Mateo with AIDS. But the memory of Frankie hangs over the family in good and bad ways, especially as Sarah learns she's pregnant. Christy, who records their life's goings-on with her beloved camcorder, believes that the angel of Frankie has granted her ...Written by
Ewan McGregor and Kate Winslet were originally approach to play Johnny and Sarah at the film's early stages of production when it was entitled "East of Harlem". See more »
After seeing Mateo at the hospital, Johnny's position on the stairs changes between shots. See more »
There's some things you should wish for and some things you shouldn't. That's what my little brother Frankie told me. He told me I only had three wishes, and I looked into his eyes, and I don't know why I believed him.
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Greetings again from the darkness. I have no idea what has taken so long for this film to be released. Director/Producer/Writer Jim Sheridan ("My Left Foot", "In the Name of the Father" "The Boxer") has always been a tremendous filmmaker and with "In America" he has become a wonderful story teller. This semi-autobiographical picture was co-written by Sheridan and his two daughters and is the story of an Irish family's immigration to New York. I am a fan of Levinson's "Avalon" and Scorsese's "Gangs of New York" and I will rank this with both. It causes what I call "crossover". That is when I no longer feel I am watching a movie, but that I become part of the story. The characters are no longer actors, but real people. The writing, directing and acting are all terrific. Paddy Considine (a Stephen Rea lookalike), Samantha Morton ("Minority Report"), Djimon Hounsou ("Gladiator") are all exceptional in their roles. However, this movie belongs to the real-life Bolger sisters, Sarah and Emma, who play Christy and Ariel. Ariel's innocence and need to believe along with Christy's wisdom-beyond-her-years truly make this film work. Rarely do child actors carry a movie of significance. While these two bring joy, laughter, sadness and tears, they never cross the line of overly cute or overly sympathetic. Another odd twist to this film is the importance that Spielberg's "ET" plays. The dream of home and the presence of aliens (drug dealers, etc) in their tenemant tie in nicely. Their friendship with Mateo (Hounsou) is both bizarre and heartwarming. This is an extremely emotional ride for the audience, but one well worth taking.
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