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IN AMERICA (2003) (PG-13)

March 17, Episcopal Church of the Messiah, 6436 Montgomery Street, Rhinebeck

In this moving, semibiographical mix of comedy and drama set in the 1980s, Irish immigrants Johnny (Paddy Considine) and Sarah (Samantha Morton) Sullivan arrive in New York City with their spunky young daughters Christy (Sarah Bolger) and Ariel (Emma Bolger) full of hope in the American dream. But as it is with many immigrants, the reality is much different. The family settles in a rundown Hell’s Kitchen tenement and attempts to turn the dilapidated setting into a home. From dragging an iffy-looking air conditioner across town to finding make-do jobs, nothing comes without a fight for the couple. But their daughters see America totally differently. They see it as a magical place where anything can happen, a place that might release them from the anguish they experienced in Ireland. Then, on Halloween, the girls dare to knock on the door of “the screaming man,” a reclusive, imposing and forbidding neighbor from Nigeria named Mateo Kuamey (Djimon Hounsou). The girls befriend him, despite their father’s reticence, and Sarah later invites him to their apartment for dinner. Later, when the Sullivans face a crisis, Mateo becomes a surprise godsend. “Insightful, joyous and positively heart-stopping.” — Rex Reed, New York Observer. “The cast features two of the most engaging little girls ever to grace the silver screen.” — Rick Groen, The Globe and Mail. Rated PG-13.