Sony Pictures Classics | Release Date: August 1, 2008
8.0
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 71 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
61
Mixed:
5
Negative:
5
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9
ChadS.Sep 7, 2008
This is not Woody Allen's New York. This New York has a bingo parlour, a trailer park, an Indian reservation. Annie Hall doesn't live here. Ray Eddy(Melissa Leo) lives here. And her New York wouldn't look more romantic shot in This is not Woody Allen's New York. This New York has a bingo parlour, a trailer park, an Indian reservation. Annie Hall doesn't live here. Ray Eddy(Melissa Leo) lives here. And her New York wouldn't look more romantic shot in black and white with "Rhapsody in Blue" insinuating itself on the soundtrack. Ray is so poor, she has problems making payments on a mobile home. Because she's poor, Ray gets to know the "Indians" in a way that Annie Hall, or any one of Allen's characters never would. "Frozen River" treats Native Americans as people, flawed people, real people, instead of people that are inherently noble because they had their land stolen from them. People like Lila(Misty Upham), who helps Chinese illegals cross the Canadian border into New York State. To Ray, Lila is just "some Indian chick". To help herself realize the dream of owning a "double-wide trailer"(oh, that is so sad), Ray joins forces with the Native American woman, as the film ingeniously comments on the historical relationship between the natives and the settlers through this tenuous bond of renegade women without being the least bit didactic about it. "Frozen River" plays out like a film with post-colonial ideals, but then the film suddenly, dramatically, becomes self-reflexive about it's post-colonialism when Ray tells Lila, "Now we're even," after she gets back what's rightfully hers. These loaded words hang in the air without the slightest indication by Ray of her own naivety. Post-colonial theory is predicated on having a short memory. Ray's words are a perfect encapsulation of their selective thinking process. "Frozen River" portrays white man's guilt over the Indian holocaust without the well-meaning fabulism of Kevin Costner's "Dances with Wolves", choosing instead to suture the rift between both peoples through sublimation. Both Ray and Lila live in a vacuum(but the film doesn't). When they befriend each other, both women are unaware that they're correcting the past. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful
10
MarcieLangelaDec 9, 2011
This is the greatest film I have seen in a long time. How didn't Melissa Leo win the Oscar for this? This is the performance of a lifetime that will hopefully go down as a classic.
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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9
LynSep 4, 2010
Melissa Leo truly deserved her Oscar nomination for a gritty performance that feels real from the shabbiness of her clothes to the crunch of the snow beneath the tires of her old car. One of those films that leaves you thinking later, "IMelissa Leo truly deserved her Oscar nomination for a gritty performance that feels real from the shabbiness of her clothes to the crunch of the snow beneath the tires of her old car. One of those films that leaves you thinking later, "I wonder what happened to those people" . . . even though, of course, they were fictional. "Frozen" as well as the river in their own crises and quandaries, the characters make you root for them to break free. Expand
2 of 3 users found this helpful21
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9
BrandenR.Dec 30, 2008
This is a fantastic movie that everyone can relate to. There has to be a time in your life when you would do something wrong in order to survive. Fabulous debut from writer/director Courtney Hunt. Kudos to her.
1 of 2 users found this helpful
10
JoanOct 1, 2008
As an avid movie-goer who goes to the movies at least once a week, I vote this film the best film of the year. A powerful story beautifully written and photographed with a gritty and dynamic performance by the vastly underrated Melissa Leo As an avid movie-goer who goes to the movies at least once a week, I vote this film the best film of the year. A powerful story beautifully written and photographed with a gritty and dynamic performance by the vastly underrated Melissa Leo who is more than ably supported by a fine cast of actors, particularly Misty Upham. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful
8
JayH.Feb 8, 2009
Melissa Leo's performance is so genuine, she is wonderful and fully convincing. Great story. Very moving. Fine direction, the characters are richly developed. Excellent atmosphere. Just a great movie.
0 of 1 users found this helpful
7
ColinCMar 1, 2009
I can see why reviewers and many other people liked this film. It certainly was an interesting look into the lives of people far removed from me. But it was also so bleak that I just felt completely drained at the end of it. Worth checking I can see why reviewers and many other people liked this film. It certainly was an interesting look into the lives of people far removed from me. But it was also so bleak that I just felt completely drained at the end of it. Worth checking out if you're into non-commercial fare that explores some interesting themes revolving around sad, depressing people and their sad lives. And the look into how modern Indian reservations work, especially in regards to the white man's laws just outside their borders, was truly fascinating. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful
7
TonyB.Apr 22, 2009
Here is a small film that delivers big. Let's see more of Melissa Leo.
0 of 1 users found this helpful
8
PattiL.Jul 9, 2009
Very good story set across Canadian-native-American borders. Intertwining of women lives from different backgrounds while exploring family and racial issues.
0 of 1 users found this helpful
10
[Anonymous]Aug 2, 2009
My third favorite of last year after Happy Go Lucky and WALL-E.
0 of 1 users found this helpful
10
FredA.Nov 26, 2008
A stark and stunning look at poverty and prejudice in America, tempered by the gritty performances of the lead actors and their portrayals of people who can still hope and strive, despite their personal fears and suspicions of "outsiders".
0 of 1 users found this helpful
10
BeaR.Aug 23, 2008
At last ... a really great movie made in the last few years. (I had given up hope.) The fascinating tale was flawlessly written and directed. It's neither plot nor character driven ... it's both ... as great literature should be. At last ... a really great movie made in the last few years. (I had given up hope.) The fascinating tale was flawlessly written and directed. It's neither plot nor character driven ... it's both ... as great literature should be. Amazing performances by Leo, Upham, and the kids. A beautiful, deadly setting in a frozen winterscape completes the artistic whole. (One reviewer felt the cold made the viewer listless ... what a stupid thing to say!). Collapse
0 of 1 users found this helpful
7
nutterjrDec 9, 2010
The rule that independent American films have more substance than their Hollywood counter parts is yet again reaffirmed. The weight of the film is carried on the shoulders of the brilliant Melissa Leo who plays the down-ridden, abandonedThe rule that independent American films have more substance than their Hollywood counter parts is yet again reaffirmed. The weight of the film is carried on the shoulders of the brilliant Melissa Leo who plays the down-ridden, abandoned mother of two, struggling to provide them a better life. It is the side of America that is anything but illustrious but yet so true to many. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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