filmfan09's Movie Review of Frozen River

Rating of

Frozen River

Leo's best film performance of her career.
filmfan09 - wrote on 04/06/09

A desperate single mother living on the Canadian border, teams with a widowed tribe member to smuggle illegal immigrants into the United States. This is first-time director/screenwriter Courtney Hunt's indie drama that won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Dramatic Feature at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. Nominated for multiple Independent Sprit Awards, including Best Feature. Starring Melissia Leo (in an Oscar-nominated role) as Ray Eddy when just two days before Christmas, her husband leaves her and their two sons taking with him all of the family savings to gamble away. Leaving her dream to upgrade the family home to become futher distant. While out looking for him she makes the acquaintance of a Mohawk woman Lila Littlewolf (Misty Upham). Lila's a smuggler, taking illegal immigrants across the frozen river from the Mohawk land on the Canadian side back to New York. The two women who start of literally wanting to kill each other before make an agreement and an alliance, each needing the other to earn much-needed money.

This little seen Sundance independent film is a grim, gritty drama and that features great acting and a smart screenplay. It also has a strong element of suspense and tension of a crime film. Leo's Oscar-nominated performance is excellent. This is her best film performance of her career. Misty Upham, as her partner-in-crime, is also great. First-time director/screenwriter Courtney Hunt does a beautiful job, first starting off giving us a finely-crafted charater study then emerges us into a tense thriller reminiscence of films like 'Fargo'. If Leo's nomination means more people seek out and see Frozen River as I did. You won't regret it. This film is really worth seeing.

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