In America

After the death of their son, a young Irish couple emigrate to New York with their two daughters, moving into a dodgy tenement in a rough neighborhood. The father (Paddy Considine) looks for work as an actor; the mother (Samantha Morton in a quicksilver performance) tries desperately to hold the family together; the children (played by sisters Sarah and Emma Bolger) explore their new world of junkies, transvestites, and infinite possibilities. Jim Sheridan (My Left Foot, In the Name of the Father) cowrote the semiautobiographical movie with his two daughters and dedicated it to his brother, who died at the age of ten. The result is a blend of kitchen-sink and magical realism: sentimental, but well acted and freshly observed. PG-13, 103 min.

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