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In America

Child actors are like dentists; good ones are rare and the bad ones cause great pain. It is quite uncommon to find a movie with even one standout child actor, but In America has managed to locate two. Anchored by the performances of the two cherubic children, the film weaves an engaging tale of an Irish family who immigrates to America to escape the memory of a lost child. However, their na´ve optimism is harshly greeted by the desolate realities of an impoverished New York neighborhood. As Johnny's acting career fails to progress, and recollections of the lost child resurface, the family seems ready to collapse until the two daughters befriend the belligerent and secluded tenant downstairs. Though moderately superficial, the film is eminently charming. Concluded with a moment perfectly uplifting, but not too saccharine, director Jim Sheridan has crafted a picture that constantly reminds us that life has much to smile about.