Need a healthy cry? Catch “In America” (2002, rated PG-13) at 6:30 p.m., Thursday at Mesa Public Library for a guaranteed catharsis.
When the film opens, Johnny and Sarah Sullivan (Paddy Considine and Samantha Morton) are trying to immigrate into the United States, possibly hoping to outrun the death, about one year earlier, of their son Frankie.
They and their two living children, 10-year-old Christy (Sarah Bolger) and 5-year-old Ariel (Emma Bolger), move into a tenement in New York City, a home to many drug addicts and one tenant described to the Sullivans as “the man who screams.” They appear to be the only family with young children in the building.
Johnny, an actor, is often unemployed, but Sarah takes a job as a waitress at a local ice-cream shop and they scrape by. They make a friend in the building (the totally fantastic Djimon Hounsou) and embrace their new life as much as they can. However, they can’t put off grieving forever.
Thoughtful, honest storytelling from writer/director Jim Sheridan makes “In America” the kind of film is hard to forget, in part because the story asks a lot of its viewers. This is not entertainment so much as a lesson in empathy, one that we might not want but can always use.
“In America” is part of the Mesa Public Library Free Film Series, which brings movies to the library’s upstairs meeting-room theater on the first Thursday of nearly every month. All screenings are free, thanks to the Friends of Los Alamos County Libraries.
Coming up next month is “Ride The Pink Horse” on March 3, followed by “The Class” April 7, “Edward Scissorhands” May 5, “A River Runs Through It” June 2, “The Way, Way Back” July 7, “A Most Wanted Man” Aug. 4, “Bad Day At Black Rock” Sept. 1, “Election” Oct. 6, “Born Yesterday” Nov. 3, and “Paper Moon” Dec. 1.
For more information, call the library at 505.662.8240 or check online at http://www.losalamosnm.us/library/Pages/default.aspx under “Events and Classes.”