August 29, 2008

"First great film of the fall"

Winning 'Frozen River' succeeds on its performancesCourtney Hunt's "Frozen River" is the first great film of the fall. It has great actors playing vivid characters in a setting that makes for a clash of cultures. The state police won't stop Ray "because you're white," Lila spits out at every opportunity. Her tribe doesn't approve of what she's doing, but has its own ineffectual ways of straightening her out. She lost custody of her infant, a wrong the tribal police won't right. All she wants is the money to set her up to take him back.

"Frozen River" is a sobering, nerve-wracking and moving look at hard, beaten people dealing with hard times. It heralds the arrival of a new filmmaking talent in Hunt. And it is righteous payback for Leo, a veteran supporting player whose lifetime of classing up everything from "21 Grams" to "The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada" pays off in one of the very best screen performances of the year.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see The Best Indian Movies.

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