Jim Sheridan– A Biographical Note
Jim Sheridan is a master storyteller and an acclaimed film director. His films have achieved popular and critical acclaim throughout the world and have garnered two Academy Awards, 13 Academy Awards nominations and numerous prestigious international awards.
Following a distinguished career in the theatre between the 1960s and the 1980s, Jim Sheridan wrote and directed his first critically acclaimed feature My Left Foot in 1989, starring Daniel Day-Lewis, about the Irish artist Christy Brown who only had control of his left foot.
The film was a surprise success with both Day-Lewis and co-star Brenda Fricker winning Oscars for their performances. Sheridan received two Oscar nominations for Best Director and Best Screenplay. He followed "My Left Foot" with the film The Field (1990). Starring Richard Harris, a then-unknown Sean Bean and John Hurt, this film was based on a theatre play by John B. Keane. It earned Harris an Oscar nomination.
Sheridan bounced later with the film In the Name of the Father (1993), once again starring Daniel Day-Lewis. The film concerns four teenagers who are accused of an IRA bombing.
Gerry (Day-Lewis) finds that his father (Pete Postlethwaite), aunt, and cousins are also accused of being accomplices. He and his father spend fifteen years in prison together until a lawyer (Emma Thompson) takes their case to court once again. The film was successful critically and commercially, gaining seven Oscar nominations (including three for Sheridan).
Throughout the 90s, Sheridan did some on-the-side work as an actor and as a writer, and his writing credits include the prison film Some Mother's Son (1996) in which IRA prisoners went on a hunger strike to protest their treatment as criminals. Sheridan's next directorial film was the gritty film The Boxer (1997),which was also the third collaboration between Sheridan and Daniel Day-Lewis. The film was about a former IRA associate released from prison after fourteen years. He attempts to put his life back together by starting a boxing club, as well as reconciling with his former love (played by Emily Watson). It was nominated for three Golden Globes, including Best Actor (Day-Lewis) and Best Director (Sheridan).
Sheridan’s next film was the dramatic film In America (2002), starring Paddy Considine, and Samantha Morton. The story is about an Irish family who immigrated illegally to the United States.
The father is an actor, attempting to find success, so that he can look after his children. The film received many positive reviews and earned Sheridan an Oscar nomination for Best Screenplay.
In 2005 he directed and produced Get Rich or Die Tryin’. He then directed Brothers based on a Danish movie by Susanne Bier. The film stars well known and talented actors Jake Gyllenhaal, Natalie Portman and Tobey Maguire, and tells the story of a man whose brother is missing in Afghanistan, leaving him to look after his brother's family. The film was released late 2009. Tobey Maguire received a Golden Globe nomination, as did a song written for the movie by U2.
He followed by directing Dream House in 2011, a thriller involving paranormal activities surrounding a family moving into a new home. His most recent feature film is The Secret Scripture. He directed the short film 11th Hour at the end of 2016 and also produced the documentary Shelter Me.