Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Best Actor 2001: Sean Penn in I Am Sam

Sean Penn received his third nomination of five for playing Sam Dawson a man who is mentally disabled who fights to keep the custody of his daughter.

I Am Sam is a manipulative movie from beginning to end. It practically  throws you through  a meat grinder to get an emotional reaction. Everything is forced in the movie, with extreme predictability.That makes it so Penn does actually not have a good movie to work with, but that does not automatically cause a performance to, it just does not help it.

Penn though plays the type of character  that it seems actors like to play but it never impresses me either way. His Sam is just a completely positive man with his disability, and shows his simple knowledge that is beyond the normal human. Penn does not really sell the character that well and he plays him too positively really. He is just great and so simply smart, yes that is the script too but Penn does not get beyond it. He does actually go a bit far with the voices and the mannerisms and the are not effective in the least. Something that does not help his performance is some of the time he surrounded by real mentally disabled people which makes his acting look like just that, acting. Penn in this goes right along with the manipulation of the movie and really fails to elevate the material.


joe burns said...

I watched the trailer for this on Youtube and it was cringeworthy! Will never see it! Seems like Penn is a hit and miss for you.

Louis Morgan said...

It's cringeworthy the whole way through. And yeah Penn can be good but he misses big time when overacts.