North Country - quick review

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Patrick Sun, Oct 23, 2005.

  1. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator

    Jun 30, 1999
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    Charliez Theron delivers a good performance of a flawed mother of two trying to earn a living at the iron/steel mines in Minnesota in 1989, and faces on a daily basis plenty of harrassment by a group of men who don't like women working at the mines, since taking away jobs for other men. A landmark court case evolves from this scenario.

    Director Niki Caro takes her time in setting up the characters, and conditions. I thought the pacing was just about right for this dramatic material. The supporting cast is good, but then again, having 3 female Oscar winners in the cast doesn't hurt. There are 'good' men and not-so-good men, and there are women who are scared for their livelihood, in spite of the harrassment they have to with deal with, and have many doubts about future employment opportunities (at their current wages) which prevent them from coming forth with their own accounts of harrassment at the work place.

    I give a 3 stars, or a grade of B.
  2. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer

    Oct 5, 2005
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    Lee Summit, Missouri
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    I had very high hopes for this film. Theron does come through and delivers a stunning performance.

    But, the film has some very serious flaws. Some historical sideline events are changed for no apparent reason (Clarence Thomas = 1989; this happened in 1985) and some events seemed to lay so flat that it took on an "unreal" feeling to the film.

    I'm sometimes amazed that Hollywood takes what could be a great, powerful emotionally meaningful story like "North Country" and churns out something as "eh" as North Country.

    The script is writeen in such a way the dialogue at times comes across as so heavy that it is almost a mockery of the situation; it just seems to r un through cliches rather then tell the story.

    That's sad because of how good Theron is in her role.

    Without giving away anything, the third act features one of the corniest court scenes I have ever witnessed in a film, and it's sheer existance tends to nullify a lot of the film. The third act is already slow, and the court sequence, which seems to be drawn out of the "please give me an Oscar" book may be amongst the most cheesy moments I've seen since stuff like "Pay it Forward".

    That having been said, the film aspires to greatness, which is why these things stand out. But, it's not a -bad- film, it's just not nearly as good as it should be.

  3. Dave Hackman

    Dave Hackman Stunt Coordinator

    Jan 11, 2000
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    Charlize Theron does a fantastic job of looking gritty and common but at the same time revealing an underlining beauty that sneaks out from time to time giving her character Josey Aimes that special attractive appeal that makes watching her so fun. Woody Harrelson plays her lawyer Bill White and I didn’t care much for his performance mainly because he seemed to mumble most of the time and moved very lethargically.

    The story is long and felt mediocre pretty much up to the ending where it finally gets emotionally moving. A nice exchange between her and the other union members reveals a nice moment that she has been waiting a lifetime to hear. The testimony-induced truth about her son’s father becomes quite dramatic. The final I’m not dead yet court scene is predictable but nevertheless great.

    Love it or not this movie did what it had to do by showing how poorly she and the other women where treated by their fellow union men co-workers and supervisors while employed at this plant. It also showed how much it took personally for her a single mother of two to stand up by herself and put a stop to this wrong behavior when no one including her family had the guts to join her crusade.


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