Jessie Nelson’s heart-warming drama – I Am Sam – is Nelson’s second work he has both directed and written. A gentle, yet impactful film, the story revolves around several dysfunctional, yet essentially loving relationships, the most important being that between the characters portrayed by Sean Penn, and Dakota Fanning. It is a family-friendly film with strong messages about love, friendship and the argument of whether what is true is always what is best.
At just over two hours long, the film is linked together with various covers of Beatle’s songs, entwined between poignant scenes, all captured through a blissfully innocent child-like lens. The story is one that is universal, and can be related to on any level, shallow or deep. Set in a suburban town in the mid-west of the U.S.A the scenery, storyline, and themes of the film at first sight, seem achingly ordinary. But it is this that makes the film so touching, the outstanding performances given by both Penn and Fanning, shine light on the extraordinary characters and interweaving storylines that can be pulled out of the seemingly dull and ordinary landscape we are so often surrounded with.
The film begins with Sam Dawson (Penn) sorting sugar packets with obsessive-compulsive precision at the Starbucks he has worked at for almost half a decade. As he rushes to the hospital to witness the birth of his child, lights begin moving and the first twangs of The Beatle’s Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds begins playing, filling the audience with an inner view of Dawson’s confusion and distress, the flashing lights and murky sound bring us crashing back into reality – Dawson has the mental capacity of a seven year old, and the homeless woman he got pregnant, has run and left him with a child he cannot possibly know how to raise. As he takes this newborn girl (now named Lucy) home, and opens his flat, we are introduced to the place that is so integral to his entire world. With Beatles’ records on the shelves, and...
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