Movies: Tumbledown Hopes

Simultaneously comic and sad, In America captures the dreams of the modern-day immigrant family

It's a top-floor walk-up. The ceiling has collapsed, and pigeons are nesting in the exposed rafters. The bathtub is--where else?--in the living room. Ah, home sweet Hell's Kitchen home.

The tumbledown apartment matches the tumbledown lives of Johnny (Paddy Considine), his wife Sarah (Samantha Morton) and their two children Christy and Ariel (played by real-life sisters Sarah and Emma Bolger). They're penniless contemporary Irish immigrants, haunted by the recent death of a son and, before the movie is over, scared witless by Sarah's life-threatening pregnancy. Oh, and we forgot to mention, Johnny's an actor who's afraid to let his authentic...

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