Friday, March 27, 2009

Frozen River (Courtney Hunt, 2008)

***
USA



Melissa Leo is so down on her luck that she has to forego hair product, transport illegal aliens across a frozen river connecting the state of New York to Canada and participate in increasingly implausible plot contrivances in order to make sure her movie takes you exactly where you very quickly figure out it is going. In case you aren't entirely sure where that is, writer-director Courtney Hunt's unremittingly dour aesthetic will give you some extra heads-up. That said, Hunt does keep things relatively tight, the principals are all very very good and her protagonists are afforded more dignity than they generally get away with in festival-prize-shovelling liberal-guilt-driven indie crossover-hopefuls.

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