We need more directors willing to take risks with films like Get Out.
"In America" has a moment when everything shifts, when two characters face each other in anger, and there is an unexpected insight into the nature of their relationship. It is a moment sudden and true; we realize how sluggish many movies are in making their points, and how quickly life can blindside us.
The moment takes place between Johnny (Paddy Considine), the father of an Irish immigrant family recently arrived in New York City, and Mateo (Djimon Hounsou), the angry Nigerian painter who lives below them in a shabby tenement. Mateo is known as "the man who screams" because his anguish sometimes echoes up the stairs. But when Johnny's young daughters knock on his door for trick-or-treating, he is unexpectedly gentle with them.
Johnny's wife Sarah (Samantha Morton) invites Mateo to diner, he becomes friendly with the family during a time when Paddy is feeling hard-pressed and inadequate, and slowly Paddy begins to suspect that romantic feelings are developing between his wife and the man downstairs.
All of that grows slowly in the movie, in the midst of other events, some funny, some sad, all rich with life. It is a suspicion rustling beneath the surface, in Johnny's mind and ours. Finally, Johnny confronts Mateo: