Blu-ray Frozen River [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray 4380782),
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Frozen River [Blu-ray]

  • R
  • Blu-ray
  • 1 disc
  • Region Free (info)
  • Courtney Hunt's feature directorial debut FROZEN RIVER is a powerfully unflinching tale of two women, who, driven by economic hardship, form an unlikely partnership smuggling illegal immigrants across the Canadian border. Melissa Leo turns in a gritty performance as Ray, a struggling dollar-store cashier and mother living in a trailer home in upstate New York who is desperate to make ends meet. When Ray's gambling-addicted husband runs off with the family's payment on a new doublewide trailer, her life quickly spirals into a financial tailspin. During a frenzied search for her deadbeat spouse, she apprehends Lila (Misty Upham), a Mohawk Indian from an area reservation, attempting to steal her car. In the process of taking back her vehicle, she learns of Lila's smuggling operation through an unpatrolled corridor within Mohawk territory--the frozen St. Lawrence River that forms part of the border between the U.S. and Canada. Out of necessity, they form an uneasy alliance: Ray, working to meet the payment's deadline, and Lila, who scrambles to earn money to redeem herself to her estranged in-laws and infant child.

    Within a stark, mostly minimalist screenplay, Hunt seamlessly works in contemporary anxieties: economic recession, immigration, and trafficking, but never puts too fine a point on social relevance to the detriment of a compelling storyline. As the plot heats up, the stakes Ray and Lila encounter get higher and the danger, more real. FROZEN RIVER is more than a somber meditation on lives in peril, it's a complex portrait of women from different walks of life struggling to find their ethical bearings in a harsh, unforgiving, and corrupt world.
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    • Rating - for some language
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 30035

  • Credits
    Melissa Chessington Leo, Melissa Leo, Misty Upham, Charlie McDermott, Mark Boone
  • Critic Reviews
    "A Sundance hit that is both absorbing and bleak, FROZEN RIVER is anchored by powerful performances, believable scenarios and excellent writing."
    USA Today

    "This intense indie drama of unlikely female partners involved in a smuggling operation on the Canadian border is a bracing character study."
    Los Angeles Times

    "In FROZEN RIVER, Leo's acting has a brittle severity and power. Every moment of her performance feels torn from experience, and so does the movie, which finds a suspense in broken lives that are hanging in the balance." -- Grade: A-
    Entertainment Weekly

    3.5 stars out of 5 -- "Melissa Leo delivers a beautifully understated performance as Ray Eddy....Writer/director Courtney Hunt keeps her bearings on Leo, granting the actress unparalleled latitude to evolve a character..."
    Box Office

    "A spellbinding thriller, yes, but even more a portrait of economic struggle in desperate times."
    Chicago Sun-Times

    "Everyone at the center of FROZEN RIVER is standing on the edge of a chasm of despair....In the darkness, Hunt chooses instead of hope and redemption to go for reality, and that turns out to be a gift that is both brave and rare."
    Los Angeles Times

    "Leo is a revelation, turning what could've been kitchen sink clichs into a tiny miracle of human resilience." -- Grade: A-
    Entertainment Weekly

    4 stars out of 5 -- "Leo and Upham make an unlikely double act in a finely written, well-played film with a striking plot and setting. Hunt's clearly a name to watch..."
    Total Film

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