Frozen River takes place in the days before Christmas near a little-known border crossing on the Mohawk reservation between USA and Canada. Here, the lure of fast money from smuggling presents a daily challenge to single moms who would otherwise be earning minimum wage. Two women- one white, one Mohawk, both single mothers faced with desperate circumstances- are drawn into the world of border smuggling across the frozen water of the St. Lawrence River.
Frozen River is the feature debut of director Courtney Hunt, hailed and praised by among others Quentin Tarantino at the Sundance Film Festival 2008. It’s a film about today’s USA and about those living on the margins. The film features a fantastic cast with Melissa Leo (21 Grams, TV-series “Homicide: Life on the Street”) as Ray, Misty Upham (Edge of America, Skins) as Lila, and Oscar nominee Michael O’Keefe (The Great Santini, Caddyshack, Ironweed) as a New York State Trooper. Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival 2008 and the SIGNIS Award as well as the Silver Shell for Best Actress at the San Sebastian Film Festival 2008. —nonstopentertainment.com
The film portrayed some relatable people in a fucked-up world doing some pretty awful things, but never became outrageous or abusively depressing (cough, Biutiful). It felt like a pretty profound and important portrayal of the cycles of exploitation (poverty, immigration, racism). I appreciate that the ending wasn't a squeeky clean cop-out baptist redemption. It's painful and honest, yet beautifully hopeful.
Oui, Frozen River est un film puissant, riche et subtil. A la fois dépaysant, parce qu’il nous plonge dans le grand nord américain, aux limites de la civilisation, là où l’occident rencontre les peuples… read review