Monday, April 27, 2009
MUST-SEE: (Courtney Hunt) Now here is a film of true originality. Indians shipping aliens over the Canadian border with the help of a single mom looking for easy money to buy her boys a double-wide for Christmas. (??) Well, the bottom-line is that this movie is fantastic. So rarely is a truly raw light shed on American families that this story is almost painful to watch, harder to accept and leaves a deep tread on the heart for the struggles many people don't even have a clue about. (Me, one of them). Melissa Leo plays a single-mom, whose husband ran off with her money, three days before Christmas. She can't catch a break at work, and toys for her youngest are the last chance she has to avoid disappointment from her oldest. He (Charlie McDermott) questions her backbone, but out of empathy takes matters into his own hands, giving Leo's character stress and regret for a son having to grow up too fast. As "fate" (we'll call it) would have it, Lila Littlewolf (Misty Upham) steals her car. So, at her wits end, a (although illegal) subtle way to earn money arrives. Although at first, her morals stand strong, Hunt reveals that even the strongest person has their breaking point. She makes the money and can't avoid the simplicity thereafter. From your chair, you watch the inevitable downfall take place, holding your breath she makes it across the icy border, finding yourself completely on her side of the law, in 100% sympathy. It is an intense ride into the other side of right and wrong, taking motivation as justification instead of black and white legality. Leo rocks. I didn't even feel like I was watching a film--it was like real people showing you what their real life is all about. And then she was nominated for an Oscar. Enough said.