I Am Sam Reviews
Nowadays, the events in this movie are unlikely to take effect due to all of the government programs available to help those who not only are living in poverty but also have some sort of intellectual disabilities. Not to mention the fact that the courts do tend to strongly favor a child going back to their biological parents rather than a foster home even when the situation is much worse than what the film shows.
The parts that really hit home for me were when Lucy told her dad that he "wasn't like other daddy's", or when she was pretending to not be able to read the harder words to not her her daddy's feelings, or when the court tried to explain to Sam that he would have limited and monitored visitations with his daughter, and lastly, when Sam told Randy that he wanted to tell her a secret. The secret, of course, being that he couldn't raise Lucy on his own and thought that the red in Lucy's painting was of Randy. The emotions displayed in these scenes... were wait for it.... OSCAR WORTHY! And I damn near cried.
Lucy: "I don't want to read it if you can't."
Sam: "It makes me happy when you're reading."
A very beautiful movie with a great message: All you need is love! With the lack of quality dads in this world, a lot of people would be lucky to have someone like Sam. Somebody that loves their child with their entire being and makes their little angel into their whole world. It's a typical Hollywood drama so you'll love it or you'll hate it. But can we all agree that Dakota Fanning was one of the most precious little girls ever?! She's so adorable!
The color palette for the film is odd and unorthodox to a fault, and tends to muddle the experience for me, just a bit.
That being said, the combination of efforts from the director and the stellar cast on an acting front is nothing short of a marvel. Sean Penn gives one of his most transformative performances, Michelle Pfeiffer does a magnificent job expressing subtle emotions in an otherwise not-so-subtle role, and the wonderously talented Dakota Fanning gives a fantastic little performance, and manages to stand toe-to-toe with the heavyweight acting prowess of Sean Penn.
Overall, this is a performance-driven film that seems to be striving for something more; it all just felt a little bit condescending sometimes. I know this is a favorite of many people, and I truly applaud the effort from the makers of this film, because this is very treacherous territory, but it just wasn't for me. Great performances though! Some of my favorite performances in fact.