Sunday, October 30, 2005

North Country (***)

My wife stole my thoughts of this movie for the review on her blog, so forgive me if this sounds a tad too familiar. While watching North Country, you are easily swept up in the story, the characters, and the drama. The acting is fantastic, and Charlize Theron gives another great performance. But it was while watching this movie that I came to the realization just how easy a film it was to make. Anytime a film deals with explosive subject matter, such as racism or, in this case, sexual harassment, the viewer is so easily engaged right from the start. When you have characters who are so wrong and hateable, you can't help but root for our heroine and hope she overcomes the odds and prejudices against her. When I say this is an easy movie to make, I don't mean that exactly. I mean it's an easy movie to like. It's easy for people to label this movie "excellent." The thing is, it's not excellent. North Country devotes too much time in the end to Theron's character sexual history and rape. And when it finally does give you the payoff, it feels cheap and unearned, and yes, a little schmaltzy. Anytime you have people stand up one by one in a courtroom for a cause, you're veering into dangerous territory. Don't get me wrong though: North Country is good. It's worth seeing. But don't be fooled into believing it's a better movie than it actually is just because of the subject matter.


At 10:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great review, John.


Post a Comment

<< Home