anything but average. follows an irish immigrant family coming to live in nyc to start a new life after the death of their five year old son. i could say all the usual stuff like: it’s a film about love, loss, growth, etc. and all that is true, but none of that matters if you don’t do it well, with characters who matter. sheridan gets a gift from the filmmaking gods in the form of two sister actors (the bolgers) who play sisters in the film. they really keep the film centered and grounded. films told from the perspective of children tend to be a little more emotionally credible for me. i’m not entirely sure why this is. shane is the first, and best, example that i can think of. sarah and emma bolger are just wonderful in the film. they’re precocious, sweet, believable and they steal the show from considine, hounsou and morton. samantha morton is a good talent, but i haven’t seen her in a really great role until this film. i was underwhelmed by morvern callar and didn’t love her in enduring love. and i haven’t seen much else that she’s been in. she’s certainly good here, though. in fact, everyone is. one character that isn’t really credited in the film is the city. i think the film is supposed to take place in the 80s (since they go to see E.T. in theater), but there were signs that it was a contemporary film as well. in the film new york city certainly had a pre-giuliani feel to it. it never felt safe and i think sheridan used that extra layer to keep the film engaging throughout.