(out of 5)
In this beautifully heartfelt film by Jim Sheridan (My Left Foot, In The Name of the Father), an Irish family illegally immigrates to New York City to fulfill the father’s (Paddy Considine) dream of becoming an actor. Meanwhile, his wife (Samantha Morton) works a grueling job as a waitress to help them survive as they raise their two daughters (real-life sisters Sarah and Emma Bolger) in a junkie-inhabited dive of an apartment building. As we watch their many hardships and personal joys, the family manages to survive life in the Big Apple by making new friends and trying to escape the death of their son whose shadow seems to loom over them all, especially the eldest daughter. Djimon Hounsou has an excellent supporting role as an artist who lives downstairs from them and befriends the two youngsters. The acting in this film couldn’t possibly be better, neither from Morton and Considine nor from the two very fine young ladies who bring the children to life so beautifully. Though it deals with a difficult story, is is rewarding and heartwarming without ever being dishonest. Photographed beautifully by Declan Quinn and written, semi-autobiographically, by Sheridan and his two daughters.
Hell’s Kitchen Films, East of Harlem (UK) Ltd., Irish Film Industry
Ireland/United Kingdom/USA, 2002
Directed by Jim Sheridan
Screenplay by Jim Sheridan, Naomi Sheridan, Kirsten Sheridan
Cinematography by Declan Quinn
Produced by Arthur Lappin, Jim Sheridan
Music by Gavin Friday, Maurice Seezer
Production Design by Mark Geraghty
Costume Design by Eimer Ni Mhaoldomhnaigh
Film Editing by Naomi Geraghty
Academy Awards 2002
Golden Globe Awards 2002
Independent Spirit Awards 2003.
Toronto International Film Festival 2002