Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Frozen River

Through the magic that is Netflix my Monday mailbox contained the DVD for the audience neglected, yet Oscar nominated “Frozen River” starring Melissa Leo and Misty Upham.
It’s one of those small independent films that has heart, a good story, and even better acting.

“Frozen River” is about two woman, one white and one Mohawk, who live in upstate New York along the Canadian border. They’re both facing desperate situations with no apparent relief in sight. A stolen car brings these women together and from there they become involved in smuggling people from Canada into the United States. The only way they can do this without being stopped at the border is to drive over the frozen St. Lawrence River.

What they’re doing is wrong, but you cannot help but feel compassion for each of these women.

Melissa Leo truly deserved her Oscar nomination. Her performance is powerful; a frightened, desperate mother trying to keep her family provided for after her gambling-addicted husband has taken off with what little money they saved.

Director and screenwriter Courtney Hunt keeps the production simple, avoiding over directing the actors and letting them pull the audience into their world slowly. Bravo.

I would love to meet Courtney Hunt for a cup of java and some conversation. Does anyone know her?

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