In America

Rated 5.0 Based on writer-director Jim Sheridan’s real-life struggles moving his family to the United States, this is one of the more compelling and beautifully acted films of 2003. Paddy Considine plays Johnny, a wannabe actor and father of two, taking his family into Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan, looking for a better life. They take up residence in a tenement building, where his two daughters behave like they’re living in a playground. The family, including mother Sarah (Samantha Morton), is mourning the loss of a son and brother, something that seems to be hitting the father harder than the others. Sarah and Emma Bolger are remarkable as the daughters in their first major screen roles, and Djimon Hounsou should get Oscar consideration for his performance as an ailing downstairs neighbor. A beautifully shot, very memorable film.