Monday, 28 July 2008


It is hear....and I have been partying and almost missed it! Priorities MICHAEL!!!

So the turn out has been great, and I want to thank everyone for entering. I was expecting 3 entries so I am ECSTATIC with the all of you who participated. You will all be getting thanks yous!

Lets get started:

Firstly we have an entry from the fantastic blog 'Runs like a gay" written by Ben. He takes a closer look at Oscar winner (Special juvenile award) Bobby Driscoll. Did you know his voice was used for Walt Disney's feature Peter Pan (1953) and an actual "acting" performance was filmed, then rotoscoped for the animated character? I didn't. Andy Serkis eat your heart out.

Next we have the brilliant José of "Movies Kick Ass" who writes about those pesky little children who lie and make up stories. I always relish it when a child is a villain....they are so evil. Liar Liar pants on fire indeed.

Embarrassingly, James of "Rants of a Diva" has written a wonderful post featuring a child performance in a film I have never seen. And it is a classic. James, I am puting this on my lovefilm list immediately!

One of the most interesting takes was from Manuel of "A Blog Next Door" who aims his critical and loving eye on those unsung hero's, Child voice actors. I would definitely have to add to that wonderful list Daveigh Chase who was absolutely brilliant in "Lilo and Stitch"

We have had liars, cartoons, and child actors of yester-year. So of course we have to go into the freaky. Those actors scarred for life by staring in Horror films. The Culture Kid looks at Danny Lloyd.

Then there is a film that has been dividing the critics, yet all say the same thing about this young little actress. Scott from He Shot Cyrus casts his eyes over Catinca Untaru in Tarsem's "The Fall".

Then some strange little person decided to join. So let him. Michael Parsons worships at the foot of Sara Gilbert.

Last, but most definitely not least we have the lover of the Supporting Actress Stinky LuLu who of course stays true to form, and reminds us of the diversity of the young girls who have all flirted with Oscar.

Here is mine (part two)

What are transvestites?
Christy: A man who dresses up as a woman.
Ariel: For Halloween?
Christy: No, all the time. All the time.
Ariel: Why?
Christy: It's just what they do here, OK?

When I decided to host my little blog-a-thon I already knew which child performances that I would write about. I knew I wouldn’t right a long essay, but I just wanted to watch the film again and be captivated like I was when I first watched it.

I want to right about the formidable talent of these two young performers.

Sarah and Emma Bolger in “In America”

In America is the story of an immigrant Irish family, who move to New York City to start a new life after the death of their youngest child (Frankie). They move into a rundown top-floor apartment in a seedy neighborhood. The father (Paddy Considine) is an actor trying to realize his dream. His wife (Samantha Morton) gets a job in an ice cream parlor. Their two daughters (Sarah Bolger & Emma Bolger) attend Catholic school, and make friends with everyone in the neighborhood.

This is the first, and since, only time I have lost the plot and blubbed in a movie theater. I blubbed within the first 20 minutes and didn’t stop until 2 hours afterwards.
This is mainly due to the realistic and moving performances of these two young sisters.

The Narrator, Christy (Sarah) is the quiet older sibling, viewing life through her camcorder while observing her fathers struggle with his grief and her mothers dignified despair. She plays with her sister Ariel (Emma) and makes friends with the sleazy people in the neighbourhood to keep the appearance of normality for her parents. However Christy wears her heart on her sleeve and her pain is constantly displayed on her face. She mourns the loss of her brother and feels her parents pain, yet tries to keep everything together for Ariel.

Her father has emotionally cut himself off since Frankies death, no longer playing with his daughters they way he used to. This hurts Christy to no end, and when she finally allows her tears to flow and her father asks “what’s wrong little girl” Christy finally taps into her grief and anger:

“Don't "little girl" me. I've been carrying this family on my back for over a year, ever since Frankie died. He was my brother too. It's not my fault that he's dead. It's not my fault that I'm still alive.”

Sarah Bolger carries the emotional weight given to her like a pro, never going for schlocky sentimentality and grounding the film when it attempts flights of fancy. Her watchful gaze as she sees all around her tells the story. It is her eyes, that although she is smiling, look tired and worn out. She has taken her families weight on her back, and you know she will continue to do so.
Long after the credits roll you remember her sad beautiful face and the movie she carried.

As good as she was, it must have helped having her real life sister playing her sister in the film. Of course the chemistry was fantastic, but Emma Bolger, who was no more than 7 when the movie was filmed is equally as superb.

Ariel is a free spirit. She has no fear and runs around making friends with everyone she meets, never prejudiced by anything. She plays and laughs and is your typical 7 year old, that is until she wakes up from a nightmare terrified and screaming.

Ariel: I'm scared.
Johnny: Don't be scared.
Ariel: Everyone's dying.

As she stands there screaming and crying, her father trying desperately to console her she says those lines, through a childs hysterical tears. I have no idea how an actress so young can tap into imaginary pain and make it so real. She, like her sister never once go for the Dakota Fanning “Lets act like I’m wise beyond my years” style of acting, and that is how this film works.

These two little girls are trying to deal with the loss of their brother while watching their parents slip away into sorrow and they make every moment of it believable.


StinkyLulu said...


My post is finally up here...

elgringo said...

Oh man, I'm so happy I didn't remember In America or we would have written the same post.

In America is a favorite, and it's because of those two performances. It's rare to find TWO great acting jobs by kids in one film, especially when one of them is really young. Fantastic.