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Movie Review: Frozen River

Alternate Title: Ice Follies

Story: A film about two women whose commonality lies in the fact that they are both dirt poor, struggling to merely survive and will do anything it takes to care for their children may not have wide appeal but if you can find this fine film in your neighborhood you must see it. It was sensitively written and directed by Courtney Hunt and is obviously a labor of love.

Ray Eddy, an mother who lives in a broken down trailer with her two kids finds herself mired in the world of illegal immigrant smuggling via the US-Canadian border. She's broke, her jerk of a husband vanished with the down payment for their new double wide so she reluctantly teams up with Lila, a shunned young Mohawk indian smuggler.

The scenes where these women make runs across the frozen St. Lawrence River carrying the desperate illegal Chinese and Pakistani immigrants in the trunk of her Dodge Spirit is the stuff of great cinema.

What leads women to take such risks? Can you empathize and could you do the same thing to support your kids? This is a sober, somber film with true grit. It is an unsentimental story of single mothers grasping at a chance of a better life for their kids. See it.
Watch the trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOmfJe4rfe4

Acting: Melissa Leo (played Kay Howard on the great TV show, Homicide) is amazing. I believed every look and every word out of her mouth. Misty Upham as the desperate Mohawk woman was terrific too. Charlie McDermott as the 15 year old son was wonderful. The rest of the largely unprofessional cast worked well.

Trivia: Melissa Leo has a son with former boyfriend John Heard born in 1987.

Predilection: None

Critters: Dogs.

Food: Popcorn and Tang

Sex Spectrum: No sex

Soundtrack: Appropriately tense.

Visual Art: The stark winter landscape of Plattsburg NY is stunningly bleak.

Theater Audience: A handful of people.

Weather: Brrrrrr.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 0

Squirm Scale: 0

Drift Factor: I did not drift at all but there were plenty of snow drifts.

Predictability Level: I was not sure what was going to happen.

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: I would like to see Melissa Leo get a nod for this performance.

Big Screen or Rental: Support the Indies and see it on the big screen. By the way, it seems to me that there are a lot of films with the word 'River' in the title. Some that come to mind are: Mystic River, Bridge over the River Kwai, The Man From Snowy River, River Runs Thru it and a River of No Return to name a few.

Length: 90 minutes