Friday, January 29, 2010

Deep Water

Deep Water, or better called Deep Doodie, is the documentary story of the 1968-69 Sunday Times Golden Globe Race. There were no requirements other than that each of the nine participants enter the race within a certain period of time and complete the circumnavigation single handedly.

So Donald Crowhurst, a weekend/day sailor with no real experience, mortgages his home and puts everything on the line only to discover he's not up to the challenge and has no possibility of completing the race. In Deep Trouble at this point, he stops along the coast of South America and begins to falsify his log records claiming to be much further along, in fact pretending to be way ahead of everyone else. His plan is to sit tight in order to by-pass the dangerous capes and re-enter the race at its end, sailing into port as if he'd made it around the globe in record time. One by one, the contenders begin to drop out of the race ... some due to loneliness, others due to boat trouble, Bernard Moitessier, most famously due to his rejection of modern society. Crowhurst suddenly is in the position of becoming the race's winner which will mean a complete audit of his records. Watch the DVD to see what happens next.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Frozen River

I'm not sure how Frozen River made it into my movie queue and was half expecting it to be about illegal aliens entering the US through Mexico. Instead, the story was about two working-class women in upstate New York who join forces to make extra money transporting people across the Canadian border.

Ray Eddy isn't your normal female lead. She's led a tough life; it shows on her face. She's unnecessarily hard on her teenage son and doesn't come through for her youngest child on Christmas Day ... but according to the NY Times (who says it best), Ray is a noble character because she doesn't give up and she doesn't pity herself. I have to agree.

Ray is a strong woman who in spite of her difficulties ultimately does what's right. We realize that fact when she goes back on the ice to get the Pakistani couple's duffle bag and when she comes through for Lila Littlewolf in the end. Frozen River is about the reality of a depressed geographic area with a universal message about motherhood but mostly it's about the unlikely friendship that develops between two women. For more information, read the NY Times review and an interview with the director Courtney Hunt found here.