'Frozen River' is an Indie drama film that had a limited theatrical release in the USA and UK. On its release, the movie was appreciated by both the critics and the audience.
The movie concentrates on two females, Ray Eddy (Melissa Leo) & Lila Littlewolf (Misty Upham) who are struggling in the current economic hardship. They come together and start trafficking illegal immigrants from Canada to the United States for money.
The story touches on realistic issues, which include trafficking of illegal immigrants, financial crisis and single mothers who try to do the best for their children during hard times. These things combine to give you a gripping movie. The movie also competently focuses on friendship and family values thus making the premise universally appealing.
The movie is slow-paced throughout, however this is compensated by the excellent performances of the lead actors and the moving story, which struck a chord with me. As the story progresses it becomes more interesting and unpredictable. The climax is very effective and emotional.
The downside for me is that the movie is visually presented in a dark way on screen, which at times made it depressing. Saying that, it's more than likely, the makers presented the movie intentionally this way to add to the mood of the story.
Melissa Leo produces a flawless and realistic performace that gained her an Oscar nomination for best performance by an actress in a leading role. Misty Upham is competent. Leo and Upham share great chemistry throughout the movie. Another actor that shines is Charlie McDermott who plays the role of Ray Eddy's son (T.J.).
The direction provided by the debutant director, Courtney Hunt is perfect. In a performance orientated movie, she did her job by extracting award winning performances from the actors.
'Frozen River' is a movie that if watched with patience will be rewarding cinema.
Please give it a try.