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A sterling cast and vivid direction giveNorth Countryan emotional heft to match its political convictions. Charlize Theron (Monster) plays Josey Aimes, who goes to work at a Minnesota steel mine after splitting with her violent husband.
Frances McDormand and Charlize Theron inNorth Country.
But the job proves to be almost as harrowing as her marriage; the male miners, resentful of women taking jobs, verbally abuse and play humiliating pranks on the female miners. After being physically assaulted by a coworker, Josey tries to fight against the harassment, but none of the other women will join her case for fear that things will only get worse.North Country, directed by Niki Caro (Whale Rider), makes the women's experience palpable for the audience without overdoing it. But the lawsuit is only part of the movie; the gut impact ofNorth Countrycomes from the devastating effect the lawsuit has on Josey's family, friends, and coworkers--thanks to an incredible ensemble cast that includes Sissy Spacek (In the Bedroom), Sean Bean (Lord of the Rings), Richard Jenkins (Six Feet Under), Woody Harrelson (The People vs. Larry Flynt), and the always powerful Frances McDormand (Fargo,Mississippi Burning). The courtroom histrionics don't always ring true, but the family conflict is riveting and deeply moving. Based on the bookClass Action: The Story of Lois Jenson and the Landmark Case That Changed Sexual Harassment Law. --Bret Fetzer
Good theme and fine acting, but the screenplay went too far in making its point. This 2005 film is based on a real class-action suit brought about by women miners in the State of Minnesota. It was in the courts for 15 years and finally got settled in 1991. North Country is based on that landmark decision and tells the story of Josey Aimes, played by Charlize Theron, a single mother who wanted to work in the mine in order to support her children. Frances McDormand is cast as her friend and inspiration. Together these two women, and a handful of others, have a lot to put up with.
The men are awful. The harassment is terrible. The women are groped and ridiculed and almost raped. And there is one scene that made me grimace where the men topple over a port-a-san when Josey is in it and she is covered in filth. The courage it must have taken for these women to work with these men is inspiring. The story moves fast and it is easy to identify with the victims.
However, this is not really a true story. Although the class action suit is real, the story is fiction. And the screenplay went a little too far. Somewhere among these men who acted like animals, there must have been some men who were nicer to the women. After all, they all have wives and daughters and would never want their own families treated this way. In the film, Josey's father, played by Richard Jenkins, finally does stand up for his daughter. But it is strange to me how he could have accepted her being abused for so long.
Also, the writer threw in a back story about Josey and the man who was the worst abuser in the mine. Seems like they dated in High School and a big secret comes out later. A different secret about who fathered Josey's first child is also revealed. This all happens in a courtroom scene. Woody Harrelson is cast as the lawyer. He makes a brilliant case, but the strength of this case seems to be based on these irrelevant prior relationships.
Acting was superb though and won academy award nominations for Charlize Theron and Francis McDormand. Another small but important part was played by Sissy Spacek, cast as Josey's traditional mother who can't understand why her daughter would want to work in the mine at all.
The DVD has some interesting extras. Here we meet some of the actual women who worked in the mine although we never do meet the main character, Josey Aimes. I understand she is rather shy and not at all like the high-spirited woman that was portrayed in the film.
All in all, this was a good movie. However, it was a little too much like a soap opera for me to give it my highest recommendation.Great Film this was a great film. all girls should see movies like this that encourages girls, young ladys, and women everywhere to take a stand for what they believe in, and even if everyone is against you, fight for your rights and press on. This was a very powerful film. Charlize Theron is a great actress. Her performance was great in this film.Lost Focus I can appreciate what this movie tries to do, but the over-dramatizing kind of takes away from it. I can only assume certain elements were added to the true story to make it more interesting, in someone's opinion. In my opinion, it ruined the film. Why in the world would a woman's sexual history be allowed to be discussed as part of a sexual harassment trial?! Why wouldn't a teenage girl tell her family that her child was conceived out of rape?! Why would the rapist come to testify against her at the sexual harassment trial?! And why would a witness to the rape use that as some kind of reason to be mean to the victim?! Some parts of the movie were very good. I'm guessing those are the parts that were most true to the real story. For me, this move was less about women having equal rights in the workplace, and more about being a cautionary tale that if people think you were a [...] teenager people may treat you horribly as an adult. If Charlize Theron's character didn't happen to be a young mother I think this movie would have been more affective in making a decent point.