I Am Sam
I AM SAM (12)
D: Jessie Nelson
New Line/Bedford Falls (Jessie Nelson, Richard Solomon, Marshall Herskovitz & Edward Zwick)
W: Kristine Johnson & Jessie Nelson
DP: Elliot Davis
Ed: Richard Chew
Mus: John Powell
Pd: Aaron Osborne
Sean Penn (Sam Dawson), Michelle Pfeiffer (Rita Harrison Williams), Dakota Fanning (Lucy Diamond Dawson), Dianne Wiest (Annie Cassell), Laura Dern (Miranda Carpenter)
Sean Penn received much criticism for over-acting in this sentimental drama but it didn't stop him receiving an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.
He plays Sam, a mentally retarded man fighting for custody of his young, precociously intelligent daughter (Dakota Fanning), receiving the help of attorney Michelle Pfeiffer to plead his case.
The title is a reference to the Dr. Seuss book "Green Eggs & Ham" and there are also several references to songs of The Beatles throughout it's duration.
It may feel a little mawkish and cloying in places, but it's still highly enjoyable, and criticisms of Penn's portrayal of the lead role are incredibly harsh. I certainly think it was amongst the best acting performances of the year.