Listening exercise
Interview with Michelle Pfeiffer
on her role in the movie
"I am Sam"

Click below to access video:

http://www.hollywood.com/multimedia/detail/media/1099371

Vocabulary:
to raise
to have moments
task
challenging
retarded
more advanced
initially
to attract
Jessie Nelson
The Story of Us
script
excited about
unusual
Sean Penn
originate
Christine Johnson
phenomenon
disabled parents
to circle an idea
metaphor
strength
challenged
flawed
incomplete
nucleus
to commit
to go all the way
to soften the edges
to push the envelope
to put oneself in a position
ergh!
to pull it back a few notches
to be up against s.t.
firm
another nine rounds
role
portrayal
genius
incredible
collaborative
research
assembly line
disabled people
to pick up
hand gesture
walk
look
intonation
sponge
putting together the pieces
chivalry
close-up
to give 150 percent
retard
on the set
unbelievable
a typical day
courtroom scene
a part of the cast
everybody had been cast
moving
thought-provoking
eye-opening
preachy
entertaining
life-affirming
uplifting
mentally challenged
weird apartment


Listening comprehension questions:
1. What is the core question being asked by the male lawyer at the beginning of the interview?
2. What did Lucy say to her father just before she yelled, "Why don't you write that down?"
3. What attracted Michelle Pfeiffer to this role?
4. Where did the idea for the movie come from?
5. What does the playwright think the film is a metaphor of?
6. What was Michelle Pfeiffer's biggest challenge in making this movie?
7. What does it mean "to push the envelope"? "To pull it back a few notches"?
8. How do Michelle and Jessie feel about Sean Penn as an actor?
9. How did Sean Penn learn to play his character?
10. What does Jessie Nelson mean by "He has great chivalry as an actor"?
11. Describe Dakota Fanning, the girl who plays Lucy, both on and off-screen.
12. What do you think about Lucy's view toward mentally disabled people, and what is your own view?
13. Do you think that Sam, the mentally disabled father with the intelligence of a seven-year-old, should have been given custody of his daughter?


Video chosen and exercise designed by Sharon Chang it

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