In America Premieres
in New York

Left: Dijmon Hounsou with Emma and Sarah Bolger. Middle: Samantha Morton (who plays the mother, Sarah) with director Jim Sheridan. Right: Paddy Constantine is all smiles on the red carpet.

The A-list was in full force for the New York City premiere of Jim Sheridan’s latest film In America. Many fans and friends of Sheridan were out to support the semi-autobio-graphical film for its holiday opening. In the movie, a family immigrates to America from Ireland and grapples with life in a new country. The couple are poor and have to steal an air conditioner when summer descends. Samantha Morton plays Sarah, the wife who believes her struggling actor husband Johnny, played by Paddy Considine, can provide the family with a bright future, if only they could deal with their tragic past. Young Irish newcomers Emma and Sarah Bolger, sisters in real life, play their daughters who at times feel alienated from the American way of life. The family’s mysterious neighbor Mateo, played by Djimon Hounsou, helps the family realize how to repair a broken heart and opens their eyes to the magic of New York.

Aside from the cast, who were hobnobbing at full tilt, rock stars like Bono, supermodels including Helena Christensen and literary moguls such as Salman Rushdie attended the premiere and the glamorous after-party at St. Bart’s restaurant in Manhattan. But it wouldn’t have been a decent Irish celebration without some singing, and brave Sarah Bolger was directed to the stage by Sheridan to sing “Desperado,” the Eagles song that she covers in the film. After a touching rendition, there was a party to be had. And fitting with the 1980s era of the film, plenty of disco and Motown music was blaring through the speakers. Sheridan started up a conga line with the cast that boogied its way through the restaurant. By the end of the evening it was clear that if the Irish were ever to take over Hollywood, there would be a lot more fun and quite a bit less pretentious posing. ♦

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