XFINITY On Demand: Leonard Maltin Picks This Week – ‘In America’ and ‘In Her Shoes’

Film critic Leonard Maltin. ((Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Film critic Leonard Maltin. ((Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

There’s no more fundamental topic for drama than family—because it’s something everyone can relate to. Here are two terrific films about families that you may have missed.

Irish filmmaker Jim Sheridan drew on his own experiences in the 1980s to create the moving story of “In America.” In fact, his daughters Naomi and Kristen co-wrote the screenplay with him. Paddy Considine plays an Irishman who brings his wife and two young girls to New York City, hoping to break into the theater. He and his wife, Samantha Morton, are trying to get past a tragedy that darkened their lives at home, but for now they must deal with finding an inexpensive place to live, learning to become street-savvy, and protecting their wide-eyed daughters from the perils of city life. The girls make their own discoveries, and forge a friendship with their mysterious neighbor, played by Djimon Hounsou, who turns out to be a warm and welcoming presence. The magic of In America derives from the girls’ guileless attitude in exploring their new surroundings, and the performances of real-life sisters Sarah and Emma Bolger will capture your heart. Click here to use to purchase “In America” on your TV.

Watch a preview of “In Her Shoes” here.

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In Her Shoes” was promoted as a Cameron Diaz comedy, but in fact it’s a dramatic film about the sibling rivalry between two sisters. Toni Collette is a hard-working professional who’s always been jealous of her sexy sister, who has men falling all over themselves. But despite appearances, Diaz has no self-esteem. The situation isn’t helped by their parents, who split up years ago, or by their stepmother, who’s cold as ice. Then Diaz impulsively goes to Florida and looks up their long-estranged grandmother, played by Shirley MacLaine. The reunion opens a new chapter in both of their lives. Susannah Grant did a terrific job adapting Jennifer Weiner’s best-selling novel, and that script is handled with intelligence and care by director Curtis Hanson. The cast is first-rate, from top to bottom. Click here to use to purchase “In Her Shoes” on your TV.

These are good, solid movies worth discovering, or rediscovering this week. See what else is available on XFINITY On Demand here.

See more of Leonard Maltin’s picks here. Note: These picks, which start at $0.99, may not be available in all areas.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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