BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

24 September 2014

BBC Homepage
»BBC Local
Things to do
People & Places
Religion & Ethics
Arts and Culture
BBC Introducing
TV & Radio

Sites near Shropshire

Black Country
Hereford & Worcester

Related BBC Sites


Contact Us

I Am Sam (2002)
Director: Jessie Nelson
Sean Penn, Michelle Pfeiffer, Dakota Fanning,
Doug Hutchinson, Dianne Wiest and Laura Dern.

132 minutes
10th May 2002
12 cert camera
 A scene from the fim I am Sam
I am sam
Jessie Nelson's "I Am Sam" deals with important and emotional issues such as mental disability, single parenthood, and foster care. Unfortunately, precious little of the movie grants them any potential critique.
Find out more about "I am Sam" at the official website and at Movie news.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites.
Movie - Top Ten
Instead, Nelson plumbs the enormous sentiment quota with the relentless persistence of an oil well drill until it erupts in a syrupy geyser.

Not that this mattered to the Oscar voters who granted Sean Penn's performance a Best Actor nomination. For regular audiences, though, the less cynical may be happy to be ensconced in its overwhelming feel good factor. But even still, it's hard to ignore the film's clumsiness and blatant manipulation.

Penn plays Sam, a Beatles-obsessed Starbucks cleaner with the mental age of seven. Managing to get a homeless woman pregnant, her disappearance leaves him to bring up young Lucy. Their relationship is an endless stream of beautiful moments, until she hits seven, exceeding Dad's mental capabilities and attracting the meddling attentions of Social Services. To win her back, Sam wangles the free services of Pfeiffer's bitchy lawyer.

To be fair on Penn, he is the strongest element. His performance of Sam is a product of his enormous character skills and while the sentiment is heavy, it's positively controlled compared to what surrounds him. Pfeiffer plies mediocre callousness, but succumbs all to easily to Sam's simple-minded 'Love is all you need' notions.

However, Dakota Fanning's turn as Sam's precocious daughter winningly recalls Kirsten Dunst's and Anna Paquin's early success and the soundtrack of Beatles covers are the more enjoyable elements of this blatant emotional wrangling.

"I Am Sam" opens in UK cinemas on Friday 10th May 2002.

Reviewed by Danny Graydon , BBC Films

Use the link below to comment on this film
Top | Movies Index | Home
BBC Shropshire Bollywood news, reviews and galleries
Red bullet point Bollywood film galleries
BBC Shropshire film search
Red bullet point What to see in Shropshire
Shrewsbury's Old Market Hall
  See this year's Calendar... And find out where to go...
Red bullet point Music
Red bullet point Film
Red bullet point Theatre & Arts
BBC Shropshire guide to top ten films to watch this month
Red bullet point What to watch this month
2006 BBC Shropshire Weather Calendar

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy