Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Frozen River (2008)

This Oscar and Critics Choice runner is the kind of movie that makes you want to make one. Falling under the category of Independent Movies, this movie has a very personalized touch of a running commentary (that is initially mistaken as subtitles although some of them are) by the makers through every scene and shot on the set up, the racing thoughts, the feelings, characters, sponsors et al. To an unwitting commercial bug, this was a refreshing change and a profound move into a more mature taste in cinematic obsession.

Set in the lives of families in trailer homes in the Mohawk land bordering the United States and Canada, it (al)most inevitably delves into the touchy subjects of race, colour, rights, aliens and immigration. Lila Littlewolf (Misty Upham: for sponsoring Lays Stax :) jk), a border crossing alien (orients, pakis (not my words)) smuggler on probation and separated from her li'l son gets the car trunk of Ray Eddy (Melissa Leo, playing the classic "white trash") in the fate of dire circumstances. Desperate to get the dream mobile home for her broken family, Ray makes one odd trips across the ice border, with the risks consequentially following up.

Melissa Leo deservedly earned the nomination by the academy and in my judgment is second best to Winslet's win. My paradoxical liking to this movie is that the running scipt commentary makes the viewers as involved in the process of the 'making of the movie' yet shifts the focus from actually watching the movie making it a relatively semantic experience rather than a visuo-perceptual one.

Nevertheless, one of the better movies i've watched of late in line with 'Confessions of a Shopaholic' (2009), 'The Weight of Water' (2000), 'I am Sam' (2001) and 'The Reader' (2008).

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