‘Far, we’ve been travelling far, we’re coming to America.’ That’s Neil Diamond that is, in The Jazz Singer. It was all right for him, he was a synagogue cantor’s son who wanted to trade his yarmulke for lines of showbiz sherbert and soft cock LA rock. It’s slightly different for Johnny (Paddy Considine) and Sarah (Samantha Morton). Reeling from the death of a child, these two Irish émigrés hit modern day Manhattan. In tow are their young feisty daughters, Christy and Ariel (Sarah and Emma Bolger), and the family have just about enough money to hole up in a crumbling, junkie-infested block in Manhattan’s Hell's Kichen. What follows is a deceptively simple tale of grief, redemption, acclimatisation and friendship as Johnny, a jobbing actor and taxi driver, struggles to keep his brood above the

bread line.

In the past filmmaker Jim In The Name of The Father, Some Mother’s Son Sheridan has always believed in using a mallet when a watercolour

paint brush would do. His films, however, are never less than interesting, beneath their

feverish, angry surfaces beat the skills of a consummate storyteller (Sheridan was a brilliant, precocious writing talent long before he ventured into directing film, he also wrote the screenplays for The Field and My Left Foot).

With In America, he clearly wishes to take a step away from his more agit prop work and create something intimate, honest and autobiographical. The form suits him well, and even in his less subtle moments he shows an uncanny gut feel for the correct tone for a

familial tragedy.


Trailer mom Ann (Sarah Polley) works nights doing a cleaning job at the local university. and has to put up with her crotchety mother (Debbie Harry) and diet-obsessed friend Laurie (Amanda Plummer). But despite all this. her life with husband Don (Scott Speedman) and her two young daughters is a happy one. After she collapses suddenly, her doctor tells her she has incurable cancer and has only two months to live. Rather than telling people. she starts planning what she wants to do in the time she has left.

The idea behind Spanish writer/ director lsabel Coixet's fourth film is a fascinating one. yet My Life Without Me. fails to live up to its initial promise. The screenplay (Coixet's first in English) dodges the main issue. namely Ann's deception of friends and family and the huge implications of this. On top of this. there is the matter of her implausny dupliCitous


Tom and weeping in the USA

Even when Sheridan, the writer, gets things so slowly calcifies everything around her with a badly wrong by egging his souffle well beyond the point of collapse (for instance the intervention of Mateo, a Basquait style artist with because his gaze is the same as that of her dead

stunning turn as the quiet, caring matriarch who is unable to stare into her husband’s eyes

a 800 Radley complex who enters the family’s son.

Cry me a ripple

infidelity with the awkward. lonely Lee (Mark Rufallol. Moreover. when the symptoms of her fatal disease manifest themselves as seemingly no more than slight tiredness. it's difficult to believe that Ann is genuinely dying. Despite haying a talented cast ans beautiful photography, it lacks that sense of emotional truth that is so pivotal to the success of any good weepie. Frank Capra said that 'drama wasn't when the characters Cry. but when the audience do'. Unlonunately for My Life Without Me things are exactly the wrong way around. (Nick Daws0n) I General release fom Fri 7 Nov

life), the saccharine barely stains the urban cloth of dust, filth and fear. Sheridan is served by a

cast of rare distinction. Considine is phenomenal New York-based auteurs, In America is an as the awkward, locked off Johnny, trapped by his need to mourn and his desire to become an actor (an act that would clearly force his family into greater penury). Samantha Morton, too,

Clearly influenced by the work of John Cassavettes and many other 1970’s low budget

undeniably emotive force in a medium that so often falls short of creating anything close to genuine emotion. (Paul Dale)

I Selected release from Fri 37 Oct.


Made in 1930 when sound was still in its infancy. Lewis Milestone's pioneering drama took the risk of asking Depression-era audiences in America to identify with 'enemy' (namely German) characters. Adapted from Erich Maria Remarque's best-selling novel. this film's narrative was to form a template of countless future anti-war films.

It is the beginning of WW1 and a group of idealistic German schoolboys are enc0uraged to be ‘iron men' by their ultra-patriotic teacher. They join up and undergo their basic training under the bullying Himmelstoss (John Wrayl. Transported to the front line. they discover the realities of conflict. and their idealism is swiftly shattered by slaughter and destruction in the rat-infested trenches. But one of the new arrivals. Paul (Lew Ayres). is befriended by the resourceful veteran Kat (Louis Wolheim), who passes on his own survival tips.

Playing in a sparkling restored print. this still remains a spectacular recreation of the horrors of the W1 battlefield. Admittedly. by today's standards the performances (eel stilted and the 'futility of war' message is hammered home in a sometimes simplistic manner. Yet the .. ‘. celebrated set-pieces. k.

notably the dying French ' .-

soldier in the fox-hole. ‘- '~

the massed infantry 3" z,


attack. and the tragic \ , A?! '-. , ending continue to . ' ' -. . f impress. while All Quiet also emphasises the ignorance and complacency of the civilian world away from

the war zone. And men


The List is offering you the chance to see My Life Without Me for FREE on Sun 2 Nov! We have 1003 of tickets to give away to the first people who present their copy of The List to the either of the box offices listed below from Thu 30 Oct.

here scream and Cry and soil themselves in terror in a film which conspicuously avoids showing acts of

Cameo Cinema UGC Glasgow conventional military Ed'nburgh Glas ow heroism. (Tom Dawsonl 11am 10.3 am

I GFI'. Glasgow. Mon 70. Tue 77, Wed 72 i Nov. Hell revisited

TERMS & CONDITIONS: The offer is subject to availability. Two tickets per reader.

3t) Oct—113 Nor 003 THE LIST 27