By Kristin Battestella
After leaving her abusive husband, Josey (Charlize Theron, Monster) takes a job at the Pearson Mines to support her two children, Sammy (Thomas Curtis) and Karen (Elle Peterson). Her father Hank (Richard Jenkins), also a miner, disapproves of Josey’s job, as do most of the male miners. Union representative Glory (Frances McDormand, Fargo) tries to keeps the hazing of the new female minors to a minimum. Unfortunately, Glory can’t keep her tough exterior while her health is failing. Her husband Kyle (Sean Bean)-previously injured at the mine-must care for Glory. Josey’s Mom Alice (Sissy Spacek) offers support where she can, but after one too many incidents at the mine, Josey turns to ex hockey star turned lawyer Bill (Woody Harrelson) and takes the first class action sexual harassment lawsuit to court.
Clearly meant as a vehicle for Charlize Theron, the Oscar winner gives a fine performance here along with other such female Oscar heavy weights as Spacek and McDormand. The faults with
Based upon the book by Clara Bingham, this true story about women fighting back against sexual harassment should be more moving then it turned out onscreen. After years of courtroom reruns on television, the legal scenes in
The North Country DVD does have a brief deleted scene reel, and for once, these pieces should have been left in the film. Several key conversations between each main cast member were left on the cutting room floor. Some have dialogue, and some are just lengthy moments between the leads, but these scenes add some of the depth needed. At exactly two hours,
Men probably won’t like this attempted gun-ho women’s picture, but younger folks may not either, largely due to the eighties look of the film. North Country’s setting is cold
Instead of directing audiences to ‘stand up’ for themselves and other against abuse by going to a website, here was another missed chance to get seriously exhaustive about the issue of filming what is still a touchy subject. How did Theron prepare? Was it rewarding or difficult for the real victims to see their tale onscreen? What does the real mining company have to say about all this? Sadly we just don’t know.