|New Line Cinema | Release Date: December 28, 2001||CRITIC SCORE DISTRIBUTION|
As the director of this noble weepie, Nelson so overuses visual tricks -- zooms, zip pans and multiple perspectives on a simple scene -- that she turns the viewer into an exasperated parent; this is a directorial style in need of a spanking.
The film's one realistic performance is that of Dakota Fanning as Lucy, whose child's shame, fear and resourcefulness ground the movie in recognizable behavior. She breathes air into this suffocating enterprise.
There's only one excuse for the sentimental and ham-handed I Am Sam, and it's not to tout the rights of the mentally disabled.
Pfeiffer, enormously likable in the role, almost saves the movie. [28 Jan 2002, p. 90]
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