North Country

0
0
Subscribe to Charlize Theron alerts

Facts and Figures

Run time: 126 mins

In Theaters: Friday 21st October 2005

Box Office USA: $18.3M

Box Office Worldwide: $25.2M

Budget: $35M

Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures

Production compaines: Warner Bros., Industry Entertainment, Participant Media, Nick Wechsler Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 68%
Fresh: 114 Rotten: 54

IMDB: 7.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: Charlize Theron as Josey Aimes, Elle Peterson as Karen Aimes, Thomas Curtis as Sammy Aimes, Frances McDormand as Glory, Sean Bean as Kyle, Woody Harrelson as Bill White, Amber Heard as Young Josey, Jeremy Renner as Bobby Sharp, Richard Jenkins as Hank Aimes, Sissy Spacek as Alice Aimes, James Cada as Don Pearson, Rusty Schwimmer as Big Betty, Linda Emond as Leslie Conlin, Michelle Monaghan as Sherry, Brad William Henke as Lattavansky, Jillian Armenante as Peg, Corey Stoll as Ricky Sennett

North Country Movie Review


Director Niki Caro is a female protagonist's best friend. In Whale Rider, Caro received widespread acclaim for her story about a determined young girl's struggle to break down traditional male stereotypes and take the throne of her land. Caro's follow-up is North Country, where she teams up with one of today's strongest female leads to tell the story that precipitated the groundbreaking laws protecting women against sexual harassment in the workplace.

Inspired by true events during the late 1980s at a Northern Minnesota iron mine, Country focuses on Josey Aimes (Charlize Theron), a recently separated young mother who has returned to her hometown to reassemble her life. But Josey's return does not sit well with the locals. They call her a slut, a whore, and whisper wisecracks about her two children born out of wedlock. Even Josey's father Hank (Richard Jenkins) resents her return, saying she has brought nothing but shame to the family.

Despite all of the pessimism, Josey is determined to make a better life for herself and her kids. An old friend (Frances McDormand) encourages Josey to apply for a job at the local mining company where she works. This decision is strongly opposed by her parents. Hank (who also works at the mine) calls Josey a lesbian, while her mom Alice (Sissy Spacek) insists Josey's place is in the home caring for her children. This negativity only furthers Josey's drive to prove everyone wrong; she accepts the job.

And the harassment begins.

Josey is subjected to a pre-employment gynecological exam where a company doctor must "certify" that she's not pregnant. On her first day, Josey's boss tells her and the other new female employees that though they have no business working there, there was nothing he could do about it. Josey is tasked with cleaning and scrubbing mining equipment for a direct supervisor who insists he'll have no "fatties" on his team. This is just the tip of the harassment iceberg. Soon, dildos are planted in lunch buckets and derogatory messages are written in fecal matter on the women's locker room walls. Lawsuits eventually ensue.

Caro paints some of the most shocking and loathsome landscapes of sexual harassment conceivable. At times the repulsiveness is so heavy that Country becomes nearly unbearable to watch. Yet, what's most commendable about Caro's shrewd direction is that she avoids the pitfalls other filmmakers would take relying on gratuitous violence to make their point. Instead, she patiently waits for the story to unfold and allows the finely conceived dialogue and visuals to provide the film's strongest bite.

Michael Seitzman's highly competent screenplay is well executed and complemented by the effective cast. But as in Rider, Country belongs to its female lead. Theron's accomplished performance is compelling and complex. Her Josey serves as a fine role model for anyone, not just women, to never back down from what's right and to never give up on their dreams. At times I found myself questioning why Josey would even consider a doing a job where women are not welcome. It's a complete credit to her strength and motivation to provide for her family that brings her back day after excruciating day.

If there's any fault to be found, Country does run a little too long and the courtroom scenes are a little too stagy and melodramatic. Knowing the film's outcome before it begins also deadens some of the dramatic punch. Yet, it doesn't take away from the important message of courage and self-reflection that Country asks us to consider. Country is thought provoking long after it's over.

Gray country.


Contactmusic

0
0
Subscribe to Charlize Theron alerts

Comments

North Country Rating

" Excellent "

Advertisement

More Charlize Theron

Laura Marling - Short Movie Video

Laura Marling has now launched the title track for her forthcoming new album 'Short Movie' alongside a colourful animated equine video. The record co-produced by...

Pond - Sitting Up On Our Crane Video

Tame Impala side-project Pond unveil a psychedelic graphics laden video for their new track 'Sitting Up On Our Crane', taken from their forthcoming new album...

Wolf Alice - Giant Peach (Live) Video

Recently nominated for BBC's Sound of 2015, Wolf Alice perform an intimate rendition of their new track 'Giant Peach'. The band are currently working on...

Owl City - Kiss Me Babe, It's Christmas Time (Audio) Video

Getting into the festive spirit is Owl City, whose fun new single 'Kiss Me Babe, It's Christmas Time' has now been made available ahead of...

Advertisement

Wolf Alice - Interview Video

One half of London quartet Wolf Alice discuss their recent tour, their excitement for 2015 and a possible album release. They also unveil their favourite...

The Loft Trailer

Five married friends decide to buy a loft together, and each owned a key, but no one else did. The men use the loft as...

Far From The Madding Crowd Trailer

Bathsheba Everdene (Carey Mulligan) is a beautiful young, yet poor woman. After saving the life of a young farmer, he falls utterly in love with...

Paul McCartney - The Daily Show Clips Video

Paul McCartney recently unveiled a new single, entitled 'Hope', to go alongside the release of brand new video shooter game 'Destiny'. However, while promoting the...

Advertisement