July 06, 2008

Frozen River better than Imprint?

After seeing Frozen River, a correspondent sent me a mini-review of it:I thought "Frozen River" was a fairly strong Native-oriented film by a non-Native writer/director. It's even a little stronger than "Imprint" in that it effectively uses genre elements like suspense and tension to draw the viewer in and is even more successful than "Imprint" in creating a sympathetic lead character (I always found Tonatzin Carmelo's performance in "Imprint" a little icy and inaccessible). Back to "Frozen River," I had a few problems with some of its simplistic storytelling devices, amateurish local performances (but how do you help that when you're casting in the community, but Michael O'Keefe in a small role balances it out) and sometimes frustratingly undisciplined filmmaking choices (which I'm sure could all be attributable to a low budget and tight shooting schedule). But overall the scenes introducing us to a culture (and criminal subculture of human smuggling) and region of the country that most of us aren't familiar with, along with the scenes conveying a matter-of-fact but palpable sense of danger, in addition to a fearless, career-defining performance by Melissa Leo as well as an impressive effort by "Edge of America's" Misty Upham, definitely make the film worth seeing.Comment:  I've edited this mini-review slightly because it was only two sentences originally, not four. Watch your run-on sentences, friend.

Since I gave Imprint an 8.5 of 10, a film that's better would truly be something special. But I haven't seen Frozen River yet or agreed it's better. ;-)

For more on the subject, see The Best Indian Movies.


Anonymous said...

why are you comparing the two again?

Rob said...

Actually, my correspondent compared the two, not me. But it's true I posted the comparison.

And why? Because constructive criticism is a good thing. It impels filmmakers to acknowledge their mistakes and avoid them next time. The result, one hopes, is better films for everyone.

For more on the subject, see Why Does Rob Keep Criticizing?