A critical analysis of a review of the film 'I am Sam'

Essay by RoushBoyHigh School, 11th gradeB+, June 2007

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James Berardinelli's film review of 'I am Sam' is a considerably biased outlook on an otherwise monumental film with dazzling performances by Sean Penn and Michelle Pfiefer. Berardinelli is convinced that this film was just 'tear jerker' that was created with a sole purpose to win or at least be a nominee for the Oscars. Berardinelli is unenthusiastic and sometimes sarcastic tone add to his cynical opinion of this film.

This critic claims that his film is 'to be regarded as a 'tear jerker', his belief is from the fact that there are more emotions involved throughout it's 'fanciful screenplay' and less logic. Berardinelli's stance is somewhat understandable yet I find it unconvincing . The issue associated with this film is a rather delicate one and is partly because it questions our logic and emotions, this film ask us whether it is best to have a non-loving careless parent or an autistic parent who gives all the love and attention a child needs, think of Rita's relationship with her son,Willy, compared to Sam's relationship with Lucy, that is where our emotions and not always so-called logic helps us make the right decision.

Berardinelli also asserts that in terms of character performances 'the only standout is Dakota Fanning, who...manages to be irrepressible cute without becoming irritating'. Berardinelli is implying that actors should be judged solely according to how adorable they appear on front of the camera! This critic's claim is blasphemous and naive and exposes his lack of knowledge of such things as the art of acting. Sean Penn might not be worthy of an Oscar but surely he performed much better than Dakota Fanning who in my judgment was a 'by-the-book portrayal' of a child with an autistic parent. If it were truly based on a character's cuteness...