I am Sam Movie Review

Topics: Film, I Am Sam, Film editing Pages: 3 (918 words) Published: January 14, 2014

How does Jessie Nelson use a range of film techniques to portray the conflicting ideas of competence in parenthood in relation with disabled parents in the movie ‘I am Sam’? Jessie Nelson’s ‘I am Sam’ directed in 2001 tells a story of a mentally-challenged man, Sam Dawson, and his relentless fight with the legal system for custody of his daughter, Lucy Diamond Dawson. Nelson forces the audience to question Sam’s capabilities and limits of being a ‘good parent’ through symbolism, characterization, use of camera and editing techniques. Social security services bring their attention to Sam and Lucy as her 8th birthday approaches. They are doubtful that Sam will be able to provide Lucy with the education and resources she deserves to reach her full potential as she slowly surpasses her father’s intellectual capabilities with the mentality of a 7-year-old. ‘All you need is love’ is the central quote of what the film’s message is built upon. Nelson’s use of a contradictory contrast between the two main characters sparks a conflict about what defines a good parent that challenges the viewer to ask themselves if love is enough. Sam is a very simple man. He is unexpectedly the dormant character in the film. Sam’s happiness solely relies on the happiness and security of his daughter Lucy alongside the support of his also mentally challenged close friends. On the other hand, Rita Harris who is Sam Dawson’s pro-bono lawyer, is materialistic who measures happiness by the items she has in her life as she uses her successful career to mask her dysfunctional, collapsing relationship with her young son and unfaithful husband. Startlingly, Rita is the active character who learns from Sam. Both characters are experience a loss of the relationship with their child but in completely opposing ways. To Sam, even though he is unable to pass down knowledge and support his daughter to an academic level, he devotes his time for her whilst Rita is a direct contrast. In doing so, it...
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