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.


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I agree that Ray Eddy had probably had a hard life, however, it was only hard because of her extremely poor judgment and decision making skills as evidenced by her co-dependant relationship with her compulsive gambler husband, who had absconded with all their money. We learned that Ray had previously shot her husband in the foot during an altercation. I watched with amazement as she waved her pistol around and shot a hole in Lila's door, I reeled with horror as she transported two terrified, asian woman (who obviously were the property of a sex slaver) and what's worse, delivered them with no visible remorse!

There is much more evidence to support my conclusion that this "noble" woman Ray, in reality displayed less than adequate intelligence, excercised poor self control, and exhibited character traits more typically associated with a sociopathic personality.

It's not Ray's person that I found so offensive though,(I mean, it is just a movie after all). It was the directors attempt at manipulating us into liking and even respecting this woman. Although the point was clear about there being a little good in the worst of us, I couldn't get past what a horrible person Ray really was. She bought cigarettes with her money but fed her children popcorn and Tang for dinner and didn't buy her children Christmas gifts because she was "saving for a doublewide"!!

I will give it a thumbs up for entertainment value but what I can't do is sympathize with the main characters as was intended by the director.
Eric Olander