Le film ouvre plusieurs pistes - les minorités, les pauvres américains, la famille face à la pauvreté, une relation entre deux femmes, l”immigration clandestine - pour finalement prendre la direction d’un polar un peu minable, très répétitif et filmé sans invention.
Sans aucun pathos ornemental et superflu, avec des acteurs épatants de naturel, à l'opposé du pesant vedettariat des grands studios hollywoodiens, évitant avec brio tout moralisme accusateur et facile, Courtney Hunt nous livre une oeuvre étonnante de maîtrise et de pertinence, fort justement primé à maints festivals internationaux, qui dénote une exceptionnelle acuité du regard et du coeur... www.cinefiches.com
Even better on 2nd viewing, Hunt's debut feature tells a spellbinding tale set in a New York State border town whose reservation straddles the border between the U.S. and Canada. The hard existence in a economically challenged area is well felt with interrelated stories between a middle aged white woman and a young Mohawk mother. Melissa Leo shines in an Oscar nominated turn and the late Misty Upham is a revelation.
Cinematography soberly reproduce the winter harsh cold mood in the story's both outer and inner worlds. Piece by piece you get to fit the structures of our money oriented society together along with a broken humanity scattered in the background. With that point in mind, I'd dare to say it holds a happy ending.
Built upon two great performances by Melissa Leo (who was Oscar nominated for this role) and Misty Upham, Frozen River has another meaning: besides the literal one, Frozen River also relates to the frozen rivers that runs between people -or the human relations itself -; rivers that screenwriter-directorr Courtney Hunt, Leo and Upham defrost through these characters and this wonderful and story/narrative.
Limp. Lazy. Unmotivated. Oh, how I wish I could see what Melissa Leo saw in this project. What could have motivated her to continue working on it. Maybe it was the hope that her character's somewhat interesting if relatively lame storyline will shine through. In any case, with some of the laziest direction you may ever see on a professional film, and some of the worst acting as well, this is a miss.
Our Daily Free Stream: Frozen River. Das Spiel zwischen Melissa Leo und Misty Upham wirkt so intensiv, dass es keiner offenkundigen Signale mehr bedarf, um die Beziehung beider zu verdeutlichen. Frozen River, ein Glücksfall des Schauspieler-Kinos!(...) mehr auf cinegeek.de
Original, interesting setting. Good, independent American cinema. It's a story about hopelessness and how it drives people to desperate actions... The whole film is rather down to earth, slow paced, there isn't any plot twists, in a positive way! Excellent acting by Melissa Leo.
Very good! I didn't catch it when it came out and I remember that Melissa Leo's performance got pretty much all the praise for this but the story itself, while a slow burner, is quietly affecting and gripping to the end. There's lots of themes here that are well worth out attention and every honest look at modern-day life on/around Indian reservations is greatly appreciated. A gem all around.
Melissa Leo's performance is what Frozen River is mostly remembered for, and with some justification. Her strength of performance in a role shot through with a spectrum of emotions is a remarkable effort. But this tightly scripted drama has a splendidly paced plot that is gripping right to the end. Variable acting quality from other parties, but a fine film indeed.
The lack of action provides the frame to the hopelessness of a life lived in the grip of poverty from which there is no escape, whatever border you cross. This film is set in America on the border with Canada, but it could be anywhere because that bleakness has no flag. It wears the same colours everywhere. A character-driven story and a good attempt at showing the matter life is made of.