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Sometimes there are odd incongruencies between sound and image, or between temporal sequences. The lighting, camera angles and production design often make some elements appropriately fantastical. The production design and costuming match not only Sam's world, but other characters' worlds, as well. Not one aspect of the film seems to have gone by without close examination and artistic justification.
The music, which largely consists of Beatles tunes performed by other artists, fits the film perfectly. Sam and his friends are all a bit obsessed with the Beatles and apparently, so were many L.
Goal members when Nelson visited. The Beatles tunes exquisitely Socks - Sam Pink - I Never Liked My Dad (Cassette) the various moods of the film, and the lyrics often complement emotions and actions. But even above all of that, I Am Sam tells a heart-wrenching story that's something of an exciting, emotional roller-coaster.
There are many humorous scenes, often centered on Sam and his buddies going about the world with a kind of Winnie the Pooh-like wisdom that seems more honest and admirable than most of the film's "normal" folks. Of course, there are also many scenes that will require tissues for tears. And there's just about every emotion in between the two. Finally, the film has a great message. Does parenting, or general personal worth, really hinge on intellectual ability and amassed knowledge?
I don't think so. Parents who are very smart can have more than their share of flaws, as we see with Pfeiffer's character early on. Plenty of us had parents who were smart enough but couldn't help us with our geometry homework. Love may not be all you need, but it's definitely one of the major prerequisites.
Since that time, nearly all his films have left me flat. In fact, I nearly didn't watch this film since he was in it. What a loss it would have been if I'd missed it! I won't go into the story line since that's been reviewed a lot by others. The story isn't this film's strength anyway - it's the acting. Rarely have I seen a film with this much powerful acting.
Penn's performance as Sam is brilliant! I also want to mention how good Michele Pfeiffer was in this. Her character starts out as a hard-hearted witch and ends up being very human, thanks to her exposure to Sam. The change in her is gradual, subtle and fun to watch. Laura Dern gives a stellar performance as Randy. Dakota Fanning as Lucy very nearly steals the show. This little actress has quite a career ahead of her, I hope!
This film is delicately balanced, and has a good bit of humor interspersed with parts that will have even the most insensitive of you reaching for a tissue. The film has a sort of a sappy and somewhat surprising outcome, but by this time any other ending would have been pretty much unacceptable to most people.
This movie blew me away and I gave it a 9. Sean Penn as a devoted father Sam who despite mental challenges, fights for the right to raise his child is convincing in a complete departure from his usual "bad guy" characters.
The love between Sam and his 7 year old daughter is evident in many sweet scenes got Kleenex? Even the social workers who insisted on doing everything to "help the child" appear to be fighting emotions over this unusual case. The "support system", which includes several equally challenged "buddies", a very supportive employer, and many other people in the community gives evidence of our changing society, fostering inclusion and tolerance.
Eventually even the prospective adoptive parents of Sam's daughter can't go on fighting against this exemplary father. The girl playing Sam's daughter appears to be "gifted", at age 7 reading middle school material.
The implication of a romantic involvement between Sam and his lawyer could have been avoided as well. The former is stretching it, but the latter is going too far. Since there are no "perfect" movies, I still consider this one pretty darn close! Highly recommended. I Am Sam is one of, if not the best, motion picture of all time. The woman leaves him, and Sam is left to care for Lucy by himself.
However, when Lucy intentionally begins to hold back in school to prevent becoming smarter from her father, child protective services takes her away and Sam must fight to obtain custody.
He befriends a lawyer, Rita Michelle Pfeiffer with a bad marriage and a son who she thinks hates her. Together, Sam and Rita fight for Socks - Sam Pink - I Never Liked My Dad (Cassette) custody in a heartwrenching roller coaster of tears, laughs, and the overwhelming power of human spirit. This is all beside some of the most stunning performances I've ever seen in a film. Sean Penn is top of his game and gives an amazingly realistic performance as a disabled man without a single flaw.
To this day it makes me furious he didn't win the Oscar. Dakota Fanning's premiere role is by far her greatest ever, and at only six years old opened the eyes of actresses who've been in the business for years and basically screamed into their faces "This is how acting is done. As the film progresses, you will find yourself laughing one minute, crying the next you WILL cry no matter how mature or old you are, so make sure you have tissuesthe next moment tapping your foot along to the familiar Beatles tunes found throughout the movie even though they're covers and the next moment simply staring at the screen not believing your eyes and ears at how emotionally powerful a film can be.
And after watching, you won't want to ever give the DVD back to Blockbuster. If you don't at least give this movie a chance, you will truly be missing out on one of the shiniest gems of modern cinema ever. Very well done, especially Penn and Fanning vchimpanzee 4 August In 'Rain Man', Dustin Hoffman gave the best portrayal I have ever seen of a mentally disturbed person, but Sean Penn came very close here.
He was quite convincing but somewhat funnier. With Hoffman, I never quite knew when he was supposed to be funny, but with Penn there were many funny moments that I felt okay about laughing at. And I just had to like the character. I've heard so many good things about Dakota Fanning, and now I see for myself. She's great. The actors playing Sam's friends also seemed very convincing, one in particular. I didn't catch his name, but he wore glasses and I think he must have really been mentally disabled.
The others could have been but might just have been acting. MIchelle Pfeiffer was very good also, and gorgeous. And Richard Schiff was likable as the lawyer on the other side of Sam's case. In fact, I didn't see those who were against Sam as Socks - Sam Pink - I Never Liked My Dad (Cassette). They just had Lucy's best interests in mind. But I wanted Sam to win. While it is true this may have been done before, I think this movie offered unique twists and qualities other movies didn't have, and the performances were very good.
I have to confess off the top that I am not and never have been a particular fan of Sean Penn. I have no specific criticism to make of him; as an actor he simply doesn't appeal to me. Because of that bias I approached this movie with low expectations. The story of a mentally handicapped man fighting for custody of his seven year old daughter sounded intriguing, but it starred Penn. But what a pleasant surprise this movie turned out to be! Penn is actually very good in this role.
He brings a realism to the character of Sam Dawson, and portrays him sensitively and with real emotion. In fact, I thought the only performance that was better than Penn's came not from Michelle Pfeiffer who disappointed me a bit, actually but rather from little Dakota Fanning as Sam's daughter Lucy. She seemed so natural in this role, and I would hope that we see more of her in the years to come.
Pfeiffer, on the other hand, as Sam's lawyer Rita Harrison just didn't carry the role off that well, and even the courtroom scenes to me lacked the tension one would have expected from such an emotionally-laden issue. The movie weakens in the last little bit, going for the sappy and highly unrealistic ending - unrealistic particularly in the way Lucy's foster mother Laura Dern ends up handling the situation.
Having said that, I still enjoyed this movie very much. It's raised my assessment of Sean Penn's acting abilities and I would recommend it to others and would watch it again. Could have been challenging and interesting but is patronisingly simplistic, sentimental and tiresome bob the moo 11 December Having taken in a homeless woman and sleeping with her, mentally-retarded Sam finds himself a father to a baby girl.
He continues his menial job at Starbucks and, with the help of neighbour Annie manages to raise an intelligent little girl in Lucy. However leading up to her seventh birthday Sam gets in trouble with the police over a simple mistake and his situation is brought to the attention of the authorities who remove Lucy from his care.
Sam manages to get pro-bono support from the efficient and rushed Rita Harrison and starts a challenging process to try and get Lucy back. It is good that Hollywood is able to put issues and ideas up on the screen like this but it is the way that it delivers these things that generally kills them. Then it gets to the court case and the unlikely twists that see Sam taken on by Rita and then sweetly stuttering and stumbling through the emotional turmoil as he tries to just reconnect to the thing he loves.
This is seen in everything from the writing right down to the choice of music which is annoyingly sentimental itself. It works on this level though but it is disappointing to see such a high profile film seemingly aim for the quality of a daytime TV movie which is where this will gradually move now that it has had its peak slot premiere.
The cast are OK but the material isn't there for them. Penn deserves credit for taking it on and doing it so convincingly and he does it well but it is hard to get past the fact that he is "doing" mentally retarded rather than playing a character. In other films you would see his role as the simplistic one but here that is left to Pfeiffer to deliver and she fluffs it terribly. Fanning is as good as ever; a bit precocious of course but generally more able than many cute kids.
Wiest has little to do, while Dern has a thankless task as the stupid plot device required to produce the ending. Support from Schiff is good aside from the film giving his character very little sympathy and there are a few other familiar faces in there too. Overall though this is nothing more than a starry daytime TV movie. The debate that it could've sparked never comes out and instead it is simplistic, sentimental and unconvincing. For some Socks - Sam Pink - I Never Liked My Dad (Cassette) level of "ahh" might suffice but it ignores the complexity of the situation and the fact that it is not as simple as the story here suggests is just rather patronising.
If you're looking for a tear-jerking, emotion-provoking melodrama, this is your first on the list. I am Sam is a sensational dramatic piece that will leave you with tears to wipe. In the film, Sam Dawson Sean Penn is a mentally challenged single father who's left by, as what it seems, a one night stand homeless woman to raise his daughter Lucy Dakota Fanning.
Despite of being a mentally retarded person, Sam has a job working in a local Starbucks coffee store and has got friends with some what equal mental capacity. He's a sweet, good-natured, and loving father to Lucy that is equally attached to him. Unfortunately, a sordid twist of fate takes place in their paradise, at Lucy's 7th birthday a social worker believes that Sam, having the mental capacity of a 7-year-old, can't raise his child that is outgrowing him.
Lucy is taken to a foster care temporarily as her father, along with the help of his mentally challenged friends, tries to find a high-profile attorney that can help him get his child back. After multiple attempts, Sam manages to appoint an attorney Michelle Pfeiffer who only takes the job at first as a dare. Rita Harrison Michelle Pfeiffer is a successful busy lawyer that comes home to a cheating man and a son who hates her, through the movie Sam and Rita develop a friendly relationship which is an eye-opening for Rita to value her family and be more involved in her son's life.
Sam goes through a legal battle to retain custody of Lucy, aided by his mentally challenged friends, his agoraphobic neighbor Annie Cassell Diana Wiestand his high profile determined lawyer Michelle Pfeiffer. The film is enriched with major cast members that in turn give out Socks - Sam Pink - I Never Liked My Dad (Cassette) of their best performances in their career life. Most noticeably, Sean Penn who initially visited L. Goal, a center in Los Angeles for mentally handicapped persons as groundwork to his role.
I was truly impressed with Sean Penn's performance on the set of I Am Sam and how well he managed his role and his dedication to it as he freely indulged in the character of Sam Dawson. For anyone who has Sean Penn as a favourite actor, it's a must watch as it is easily his one of many remarkable performance and the stepping stone of his career.
As for Michelle Pfeiffer, I wouldn't expect any other actress to perform the role of Rita Harrison as beautifully good as Michelle did. It's a perfect fit to her character and she accurately embodied the character of Rita that possesses an exhausted ill-tempered work driven nature. Least but not last, the amazing Dakota Fanning did a remarkable role on the set, and by far one of her best performances as a child. The movie is Beatles-themed as we first understand Sam's character as an impressive Beatles-knowledgeable person despite being retarded.
As a matter of fact, Michelle Pfeiffer's character is named after the song "Lovely Rita" by the Beatles and her surname is that of a Beatles member, George Harrison and if you noticed in the film, Rita Harrison Michelle Pfeiffer points that George Harrison was her favourite Beatle. In addition, the background music mainly consists of Beatles music and other Beatles songs covered by various artists for certain rights.
The film is sweeping in its beauty, director Jessie Nelson did a great job in portraying her idea of "I Am Sam" into an absolutely wonderful movie especially after a 7 years of film directing drought.
The cinematography is mostly hand-held work as the Camera is always close by to Sam for the obvious reason of picturing Sam's movement in a subjective sense allowing the viewer to actually feel with the character and pensively translate his actions.
It's a closer look to the mentally handicapped people's world, that every act of their doing has an essence and that they are truly remarkable in their own "special" way. Lastly, should a intellectual deficiency restrain one from raising his own child? We've all had a grandma or grandma that despite of their intelligence in life aspects, had difficulty in helping their kids with their Geometry homework but does that alone hinder the child from having a well educated natural life?
The movie has a great message, that when it comes to parenting, love is the most important thing and if that is present then it most certainly paves the way to a healthy parent-child relationship. Great, incredibly moving movie. Starts off slowly, and confusingly, but gets better and better, and more emotional, as it goes on.
Ending feels a bit rushed, but that would be the only criticism. Sean Penn gives a superb performance as the mentally challenged Sam. Deserved his Oscar nomination and very unlucky to miss out in the end went to Denzel Washington for Training Day. Solid support from Michelle Pfeiffer as the tough-as-nails lawyer. Dakota Fanning is great as Lucy, Sam's daughter.
Aided by a great soundtrack, consisting of covers of Beatles songs by various artists. First of all, Sean Penn's performance is awesome! He really look a mentally challenged person in all his acts and ways to move and talk! Michelle Pfeiffer also has a great performance and is very beautiful in this movie as Sam's lawyer Rita Harrison. Sam Dawson is a mentally retarded man, who has the same capacity of a 7 year-old child. He works at a Starbucks, loves the Beatles his favorite band and one day has a normal daughter with a homeless woman, Socks - Sam Pink - I Never Liked My Dad (Cassette), who abandons him and her daughter when she has the chance.
Sam takes care of his daughter, who he gives the name Lucy Diamond, with the help of his friends, specially Annie. The Social service takes her away to another family, and Sam needs the help of a lawyer to win the case. That's where Rita Harrison enters, and she will not only help Sam, but learn great values with him. Surecure 28 June I Am Sam is one of those films that you will love for so many reasons and find infuriating at the same time.
It is by far one of the best examples of acting talent across the board and evokes such levels of emotion that one is drawn deeply into the story. But, it makes a statement so one-sided and irresponsible that you cannot help but feel like you have just eaten a huge meal of empty calories by the time it is done. The basic premise behind the film is that love is all that one needs in order to raise a child. It does so by showing Sean Penn's character -- a mentally handicapped man -- trying to raise his daughter on his own and having various officials coming down on him to "take his daughter away from him".
It is a sad reality that is faced by some mentally handicapped parents, and one can't help but feel sorry for the situation. Personally, I have a hard time accepting a film that ignores the reality of severely mentally handicapped caregivers.
While they are indeed fully capable of giving as much love as anyone else, it is an unfortunate truth that some lack the mental facilities to properly raise children. I personally knew a mentally disabled person whose mental age was beyond that demonstrated by the character of Sam, and she had a difficult time raising a cat without injuring it regularly. Though she was repeatedly told by her veterinarian what she needed to do, she simply could not keep up to the ever changing demands of raising a living creature.
In fact, that is still an over-exaggeration because Haley's mental age would still have been more than that of the character of Sam. Because we see Sean Penn physically as an adult, we don't question his abilities and we are more likely to feel sorry for him. But one has to look at the mental facilities and give it a likely comparison. We would never leave a 6 year old girl in the care of an 8 year old boy. In the same way, we can't automatically give the care of a 6 year old girl to a physically mature man with the mental facilities of a 8 year old.
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