Directed by Jim Sheridan. 2002.
Irish émigrés Johnny (Paddy Considine) and Sarah (Samantha Morton) come to America by car from Canada with their two young children, Christy (Sarah Bolger) and Ariel (Emma Bolger). The film shows the struggles of the family to find work. Johnny, the girls father, is an actor who goes to many auditions without success and their mother Sarah, a teacher, can only find work in an ice cream parlor. The family is forced to live in a squalid tenement in Manhattan filled with junkies, drug dealers, and transvestites. Frankie, the brother who died of a brain tumor is omnipresent in their thoughts and Christy says that he has told her that he will grant her three wishes when she asks.
Shame over poverty leads
people to do reckless things and one of Christy's wishes has to be expended
when her father gambles the rent money in an amusement park. When Halloween
comes, the only place they can go trick or treating is in their own rundown
building. Here they meet Mateo (Djimon Hounsou), one of the central characters
of the film, a huge black man dying of AIDS who provides a bit of magic
and emotional support. When Sarah becomes pregnant, they are even more
haunted by Frankie's death but the prospect of a new life provides the
impetus for them to persevere. In America has its flaws but it is warm,
charming, and full of wonder and works on a very personal level to remind
us that love, generosity, and even magic can exist in the most unlikely
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