The Invisible Man
The Way Back
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I’ve seen a fair number of movies about people struggling to make ends meet as they come to America, and they often are quite depressing and hard to watch. In America has the added bummer of focusing on a family that is mourning the loss of a child. Yet there’s something delightfully joyful about this film. The performances, particularly from the young girls, have a sense of hope and make even these difficult situations seem bearable. I loved seeing this family live their lives, and bring happiness to a home that could be so dreary. Unlike many other stories where we are forced to wallow in the poverty of the characters, and see the pathetic struggle to make ends meet, I never felt that here. We could see that they were having financial troubles, but the movie didn’t become focused on that aspect. Now, that’s not to say there are no moments of sadness in the movie. In fact, I was crying like a baby multiple times while watching, but that’s because I connected with these people first and therefore cared about their heartache. I also have to commend the story-telling techniques used throughout the film. This is one of the rare times that I felt voiceover was not only warranted, but actually improved the story. We get tiny bits of insight when we hear what the older sister is thinking. There is also a scene that was so powerful I told multiple people about it immediately after watching the film. I cannot remember the last time I was so tense in a movie that was not a thriller or horror film of any kind. There was a moment where I literally covered my eyes, because I could not bear to watch. Any time a movie is capable of controlling how I feel to that degree, I have to applaud the film-makers. There were certain aspects of In America that were predictable, like the fact that the neighbor played by Djimon Hounsou is going to have a bigger role in the story, but I didn’t find it bothersome that I could see some things coming. In America is a delightful movie, that had me laughing, crying, and anxiously anticipating when I might see it again.
This movie brings me to tears like no other. The fact that no one knows about it makes me so sad. I've taken 2 film classes in 2 separate schools with different teachers and this movie was part of both curriculums. From a pure filmmaking perspective, this is a masterpiece, nevermind the emotional aspect.
One of the best movies that I have ever seen! Everything about this movie was absolutely beautiful.
Could they make Sam Morton look any worse? But, in all, it all works, stirring the melting pot. See Sarah Bolger as a pretty girl before she became a truly fresh face. A good show with great kid performances, the warmth of family life in less than ideal conditions. Hounsou's especially good. Enjoy! | - Norm de Guerre
This is absolutely one of the best movies I have ever seen! So engrossing, and beautifully acted by all of the cast. It is a movie you will never forget!
In America means well, but weak acting and a foolish script overcome its message.
Jim Sheridan's magnificent and dream-like memoir of confronting grief and loss in 80s New York fully deserved its Academy Award nominations, and should be more widely known. The measure of his greatness as director and co-writer is the subtlety of the performances he elicits from the entire cast and his resistance to anything manipulative or corny.
Don't do depressing well... Slow moving, dry. Some tender moments, but did not enjoy.
An absolutely diabolical film with a lack of authenticity and a real time-period crisis; seemingly set in 1982 at some points, but nothing, from the soundtrack to the wardrobe, would indicate this. Other than ET being referenced multiple times, everything else points to this being set in the 1990s; a rather advanced LCD equipped camcorder, and the radio host announcing "Music from the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s" as the family travel by car to NY. Lacking in any kind of social realism, "poverty" never seems to be any real threat or hardship, next month's rent money can be gambled away trying to win a stuffed ET without any real consequence or subsequent peril. The message seems to be that black people aren't as scary as you'd think, but they do of course practice voodoo magic, and society's underclass are just a host of colourful characters; sometimes they are, and I think it's supposed to be surprising, actually good people at heart (I know right, the poor can't possibly be kind or trustworthy..). Sometimes of course, the poor are just out to get you as you'd expect. Terribly clichéd characters, laughable dialogue that ruins any potential "moments" the film may have had and a universe that seems to bend its own rules whenever it sees fit to suit its agenda. Characters behave inconsistently, with pretty much every one of them having a surprisingly bat-shit crazy breakdown and/or reconciliation that comes out of absolutely nowhere at some point in the film. Goes for whimsy over realism in its portrayal of poverty, and tear-jerker tropes in lieu of making you actually feel for any of the characters. No matter how mundane it might have been at points, I'm sure the real story it's based on is very moving, and would have been much more engaging without the added mysticism and magic. "You know, poverty's like, so bad, one time our Hallowe'en costumes.. were.. like... talked about in hushed tones..." is pretty much as threatening as poverty ever gets in this completely misguided film. The film critic who mentioned Capra in the same sentence as this steaming turd of a film really needs to resign immediately.
Intimate, sweet, and hopeful, this semi-autobiographical story takes artistic approaches to the difficulties of sustaining family life and adjusting to a new home.