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I Am Sam (2001)

Director:
Jessie Nelson
COUNTRY
USA
GENRE
Drama
NORWEGIAN TITLE
I Am Sam
RUNNING TIME
132 minutes
Producer:
Marshall Herskovitz
Jessie Nelson
Richard Solomon
Edward Zwick
Screenwriter:
Kristine Johnson
Jessie Nelson


Cast includes:

CHARACTER ACTOR/ACTRESS RATING
Sam Dawson Sean Penn
Rita Harrison Michelle Pfeiffer
Lucy Diamond Dawson Dakota Fanning
Annie Cassell Diane Wiest
Margaret Colgrove Loretta Devine
Mr. Turner Richard Schiff
Randy Carpenter Laura Dern
Ifty Doug Hutchison
Dr. Blake Mary Steenburgen

 

Review

The intentions are good and the film is both good-hearted, warm, well-paced and wonderfully acted. But Kristine Johnson and Jessie Nelson's script is extremely nave and suffers from it. It was a good idea to approach and convey this story from a simple and earthy point-of-view (as if partly seen from Sam's perspective), but it isn't the perspective that is the problem here, it is the entire nature of the story. There is a mother whose carelessness is not accounted for, there is a non-existent social service system that at first is implicitly criticized for not being there, and then for taking affair when it does, and there is a girl whose wisdom goes beyond reason. To boil it down: All very plot. That is too bad, because with a bit more reasonable angle, this film could have been really effective, and it would have made the sentimental pay-off scenes even more powerful. Because, yes, there is a lot of emotion and dramatic value in this film. And a fine display by Sean Penn and Dakota Fanning in the leads gives us several valueable and truly moving moments.

Copyright 1.6.2005 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang [HAVE YOUR SAY]