Surviving In A New World

TITLE: FAR AND AWAY

DIRECTOR: RON HOWARD

WRITER: BOB DOLMAN

THE BOTTOM LINE: Irish immigrants come to 19th century America and come of age in epic style.

FAR AND AWAY IS ALMOST AN OXYmoron. It is, to use two words that rarely rub shoulders, a genial epic. Big historical movies usually revolve around great figures (Gandhi, T.E. Lawrence) or great historical moments (the Russian Revolution, the parting of the Red Sea), and they always resonate with instructive messages for the modern audience (as in Dances with Wolves).

But Ron Howard's film tells the simple tale of a spunky, apparently mismatched Irish...

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