Flashback Friday-I Am Sam (2001)

The greatest love in the world is a parent’s love for their child.

In the 2001 film, I Am Sam, Sam Dawson (Sean Penn) is a single father with a mental handicap caring for his daughter Lucy (Dakota Fanning). The problem is that Lucy is growing up and is starting to exceed her father’s emotional and mental capabilities.

Concerned that Sam is unable to care for his daughter, Lucy is taken away from him by the authorities. Sam turns to Rita Harrison Williams (Michelle Pfeiffer) to help him re-gain custody of his daughter. Rita, a high-profile attorney who usually represents clients who can pay large sums, is initially hesitant to take the case pro bono. Will Rita take the case and if she does, will Sam regain custody of his daughter?

This movie could have easily gone in the direction of the schmaltzy overworked drama. Thankfully, it does not. For all of the stuff that is said in the media (and the tabloids especially) about Sean Penn, he is an amazing actor. What makes his performance radiate beyond the screen and his character’s limitations is Sam’s love for his daughter. While he does not understand much of the world, he knows that his daughter is his world and he will fight to keep her in his life.

Michelle Pfeiffer puts in another standout performance with this role. Rita may have achieved much in her life, but there is something missing. What I truly appreciated about her character arc is the emotional journey Rita goes on.

But the standout performance goes to Dakota Fanning. At the then young age of 7, not only does she hold her own with her costars who are decades older than she is, but her performance is shows a maturity that went beyond her youth.

I absolutely recommend this film.

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Flashback Friday, Movie Review, Movies

One response to “Flashback Friday-I Am Sam (2001)

  1. “Two things about “I Am Sam” stay with me all these years after seeing it. The first is Dakota Fanning’s performance. She was a revelation. Quite simply, it’s the best performance I’ve ever seen by a child actor and better than what’s typically on display from most adult actors. Second was the reaction it raised from the person with whom I was watching it. She had to leave the room in tears because the raw emotion between father and daughter resonated so deeply with her past. It wasn’t just cheap sentimentality. It was real and it was profound.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s