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  • Thank goodness that satellite tv gave me a chance to see this movie, which otherwise, I presume, would have only been seen by American audiences. It is breathtaking in its reality and haunted me for days afterwards. When it was showing again a week later I could not face watching it again so soon, because it is emotionally draining. But I will most certainly watch it again at some point. Beau Bridges is superb as the father (and a good father at that) trying to cope with his family's descent into poverty and the childrens' performances are unbelievably good. It does not become corny or maudlin, which given the subject matter is an achievement. It is a lesson in life. It teaches us that poverty is not just in the huddled refugees camps or drought plagued deserts we see on our tv screens each night, but is right here in the midst of us, whether in the US or any other country. It is a very upsetting film, but turning in for the night after watching it I realized how lucky I am in life. And I would recommend especially to anyone who is feeling just a bit sorry for themselves
  • This film is first class all the way. Beau Bridges is outstanding as a decent, hard-working man who loses his wife and his job and is just too stubborn and proud to accept help. This is the kind of film that makes you stop and think how lucky you are. Just be warned, it is sometimes so sad and grim that its very difficult to watch.
  • This movie made me think twice about what I have in life and what homeless and/or jobless people must go through each day. I found it to be first-rate, and everything about it was great, especially Beau Bridges's performance. He gave a great performance about a man who lost both his wife and his job, and the remainder of the movie focused on his struggle to raise his two kids and find another job. I loved it.

    *** out of ****
  • Hidden in America should be required viewing for all political candidates and elected officials. Having spent 50 years in social work, I can attest to the authenticity of the character of Bill Januson. The producers of this film should receive credit for having the guts to make it. Almost the entire cast, especially the Januson family, were perfectly cast.
  • Great film that shows what happens to many people in America, but what the rest of the population wont see. This movie maybe get some thinking going for those who turn their heads or say "get a job" when someone "fail". There isn´t always a choice between being rich or poor, not everyone can succeed despite how hard they try, this movie shows that. Recommended for it´s story and the acting is good. It adds up to 5/10
  • Perhaps this family goes through more than most families have to go through. Yet the script never feels contrived and you never feel manipulated.

    This is largely due to an exemplary cast. Beau Bridges shines as the dad struggling to provide for his family. Bruce Davison and Alice Krige are the helpless couple who can see the family need help, desperately want to help and cannot. The two children have big parts that they fill admirably. Jeff Bridges accepts a small part, perhaps because he realises how important the film is.

    This is a film which shows a part of life that is rarely shown, a family that has a roof over its head but is poor and undernourished. It is very moving and deserves far more than the 6.5 rating that it currently has.
  • This is without any doubt the best movie I've ever seen! Beau Bridges and Bruce Davison are outstanding and convincing in their leading roles (I especially liked Davison's performance), so is the supporting cast.

    Also, the script is excellent. -The dialogue between Michael Millerton and his wife ("Bill doesn't want my help....") is among the best I've ever listened to. It really gives you food for thought - as does the plot in general.

    There's no question about it: "Hidden in America" is a poignant and a powerfully moving story about courage, sacrifice and friendship. You really shouldn't miss this one! It's more than worth watching!
  • nephihaha24 September 2011
    This is quite enjoyable, and the cast is good, but it doesn't really tackle the issues at hand. Because it's coming from American so called "liberal" viewpoint, it refuses to take a real left wing stance on the real divisions between rich and poor. One of the characters refuses to take state welfare out of misguided pride, but doesn't talk about taxing the rich. The tension between the poor family and the rich family is there, but from my own experience of such relationships, it's simply not realistic.

    Of course, I realise someone from a right wing perspective will criticise the characters, but the writer seems to have covered that, by having the father being a hard worker who gets made redundant etc.

    This is a film that deals with real social issues, but doesn't offer a workable solution.
  • Hidden in America works both as a terrific film and as an advocate for child hunger. Beau Bridges leads the way with a very real performance of a single father trying to raise two kids after losing his wife to cancer and losing his job of 16 years at an automobile plant. Bridges character deals with feelings of inadequacy as he struggles to find work and properly raise his family. His pride also tested when he meets a doctor (Bruce Davidson) who wants to help the family and when he has to take donations to battle his daughter's malnutrition. The two kids in the film (Shelton Dane and Jean Malone) are great and Frances McDormand adds a nice touch as the rough but concerned mechanic who befriends the boy Robby. I highly recommend this movie which is now available on video.
  • The_Core19 February 2004
    In between "Streetwise," "American Heart" and now "Hidden in America," I think I need to go on Prozac. Over the years director Martin Bell has proven himself master of ruining a person's day -- for some reason he seems mainly attracted to topics related to the poor, hopeless and downtrodden. The fact that his films are uniformly of high quality only makes the situations portrayed all the more depressing, but the verisimilitude of these films elevates them to something well above what mainstream Hollywood usually churns out.

    Anyway, this film is well acted, fairly well scripted and covers its subject matter effectively. Jeff Bridges has a bit part as a doctor, and (as always) I would have liked to have seen more of him. The fact that this film is set is Seattle is meaningless; a story like this could really happen anywhere in America. 7/10
  • This is a good gut-wrenching movie at times that delivers a message about your fellow man that many do not want to hear about namely that they are not doing so well in the land of opportunity called America. It's not that there is something wrong necessarily with the good ole USA, but that there are no guarantees in life. This family is doing well, living a decent life until they cannot as the story explains. Hard-hitting to see that even middle class rule-players can get a bad break and have their worlds come crashing down. When you add kids to the scenario, your stomach tenses up. No child should go without food period in America. Beau Bridges pulls this off with his facial expressions and heartfelt sharing and the supporting cast compliment it all with special mention to the doctor who doesn't lose himself in his work but instead in people. The guy really cares. This is a must see film for any billionaire, multi-millionaire and well-off person so as to give them a heart driven reason to exist besides their vanity. OOOPs, did I say that? Highly recommend something to eat before or during the movie, a tasty drink, and some Kleenex for certain parts. Don't hold back the tears or emotions as this may be what it takes to soften ones heart and open it up to real life and love
  • A moving drama about the under-explored tragedy of hunger among those out of work, or under employed in modern America – especially how it effects the children of those families.

    However, unlike Bell's great earlier films "American Heart", which explored an ex-con trying to re-integrate into society, or his documentary 'Streetwise' which unblinkingly studied runaway teens in Seattle, this film feels a bit soft, and just a a touch preachy.

    Of course, this was a TV movie, not a feature, and that could explain the slight lack of edge. It's still bravely dark compared to most American films, but there's never a question of the film's agenda here. Of course that's partly due to the difference in subject, but it effects everything; the lighting, the music, even the supporting cast (producer Jeff Bridges appears as a rich doctor, and while he's one of the best American actors of our time, there's something distracting about seeing him in a cameo in a film starring his brother, where the two men are treated as unrelated and never even meet on screen).

    Beau Bridges does his usual very solid job as the father, likable and human if headstrong and too prideful to get the help his family needs. And generally the acting is all quite good. I just felt a little manipulated – to a good cause and a good end mind you – something I never felt in Bell's previous work. In the end, though, the importance of the story, and the strength of the performances win out, and this is still very much a film worth seeing.