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I AM SAM
USA: New Line Cinema
Cast: Sean Penn, Michelle Pfeiffer, Dakota Fanning, Doug Hutchison, Stanley DeSantis, Brad Silverman, Loretta Devine, Laura Dern, Will Wallace, Brent Spiner, Scott Paulin, Janet Adderly, Wendy Phillips, Jenna Boyd, Michael McElroy, Russ Fega, Kathleen Robertson, Joseph Rosenberg, Eileen Ryan, Richard Schiff, Dianne Wiest
Director: Jessie Nelson
UK: 132 mins
USA Rated: PG-13 for language
UK Certificate: 12 contains strong language
USA Release Date: 25 January 2002
USA Release Date: 28 December 2001 (Limited Release - Los Angeles and New York)
UK Release Date: 10 May 2002
I AM SAM is the compelling story of Sam Dawson (Sean Penn), a mentally-challenged father raising his daughter Lucy (Dakota Fanning) with the help of an extraordinary group of friends. As Lucy turns seven and begins to intellectually surpass her father, their close bond is threatened when their situation comes under the scrutiny of a social worker who wants Lucy in foster care.
Faced with a seemingly unwinnable case, Sam vows to fight the legal system and forms an unlikely alliance with Rita Harrison (Michelle Pfeiffer), a high-powered, self-absorbed attorney who initially takes his case pro bona as a challenge from her colleagues. On the surface the two couldn't be further apart, but in reality they are subtly similar. Sam's compulsive nature mirrors Rita's more socially acceptable obsessive-compulsive nature. Her manic need for perfection and success alienates her from her own son and has been slowly destroying her self-worth.
Together they strive to convince the system that Sam deserves to get his daughter back and, in the process, fuse a bond that results in a unique testament to the power of unconditional love.
Directed by Jessie Nelson from a screenplay by Nelson and Kristine Johnson, Nelson also produces along with Edward Zwick, Marshall Herskovitz and Richard Solomon of the Bedford Falls Company. The film features a soundtrack of contemporary covers of classic Beatles songs, recorded by such acclaimed artists as Sheryl Crow, Eddie Vedder, Ben Harper, Ben Folds, The Wallflowers, Sarah McLachlan, Aimee Mann and Michael Penn.