Frozen River

( 5 )

Overview

A desperate single mother living in upstate New York resorts to smuggling illegal immigrants into the United States as a means of making ends meet in first-time feature director/screenwriter Courtney Hunt's emotionally wrenching drama, winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Best Dramatic Feature at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. Ray Eddy is in an impossible position; it's two days before Christmas and her husband has suddenly disappeared with all of the family savings. Now, as the newly single mother of two ...
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Overview

A desperate single mother living in upstate New York resorts to smuggling illegal immigrants into the United States as a means of making ends meet in first-time feature director/screenwriter Courtney Hunt's emotionally wrenching drama, winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Best Dramatic Feature at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. Ray Eddy is in an impossible position; it's two days before Christmas and her husband has suddenly disappeared with all of the family savings. Now, as the newly single mother of two realizes the futility of attempting to cover the house payments on her meager Yankee One Dollar Store wages, her children are forced to exist on a nutritionally devoid diet of popcorn and Tang. Deciding that her only hope for survival is to find a man who will support her and her children, Ray sets out to find a husband but instead makes the acquaintance of street-smart Mohawk Lila Littlewolf. Lila, too, has been struggling to keep her head above water amidst economic despair, and has recently stumbled across a rather unconventional solution to her dire financial situation. Lately, Lila has been earning a living by smuggling illegal immigrants into the U.S., but her tribal elders vehemently disapprove of the scheme and have recently attempted to stop it by forbidding the local auto dealers from selling her a car. As fate would have it, Ray's Dodge Spirit may just be the only thing the destitute mother can count on anymore, and as this unlikely pair gas up the tank for a daring dash across the iced-over St. Lawrence River, their fates become forever intertwined in ways that neither could have ever anticipated.
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Special Features

Includes a commentary with director Courtney Hunt & producer Heather Rae
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/10/2009
  • UPC: 043396300354
  • Original Release: 2008
  • Rating:

  • Source: Sony Pictures
  • Region Code: ABC
  • Presentation: Wide Screen / Subtitled
  • Sound: Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound
  • Time: 1:33:00
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Sales rank: 94,250

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Melissa Leo Ray
Misty Upham Lila Littlewolf
Charlie McDermott T.J.
Mark Boone Jr. , Jacques Bruno
Michael O'Keefe Trooper Finnerty
James Reilly Ricky
Jay Klaitz Guy Versailles
Bernie Littlewolf
John Canoe Bernie Littlewolf
Dylan Carusona Jimmy
Michael Sky Billy Three Rivers
Technical Credits
Courtney Hunt Director, Screenwriter
Micah Bloomberg Sound/Sound Designer
Charles S. Cohen Executive Producer
Molly Conners Co-producer
Peter Golub Score Composer
Donald A. Harwood Executive Producer
Chip Hourihan Producer
Shahzad Ali Ismaily Score Composer
Reed Dawson Morano Cinematographer
Abby O'Sullivan Costumes/Costume Designer
Kevin Pazmino Asst. Director
Heather Rae Producer
Brian Rzepka Art Director
Alfonso Trinidad Associate Producer
Inbal Weinberg Production Designer
Kate Williams Editor
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 5 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Popcorn and Tang and Other Evidences of Desperation

    FROZEN RIVER marks an impressive debut for writer/director Courtney Hunt: here is a filmmaker that not only knows how to weave a powerful story with pacing that rarely takes a break for breathing, but one who also knows how to pull intensely dramatic performances from actors in that rarest arena of ensemble acting. Though many viewers may avoid this film because of its suggestion of uncompromising sadness and depression in a time when 'escape movies' seem to draw the larger audiences, simply giving into this story will offer insights into human behavior - from adults and children, from minority groups, and from the disenfranchised - that allow the ending of the story to resonate subtly and memorably. <BR/><BR/>Ray Eddy (Melissa Leo) lives with her two sons, teenager T.J. (the gifted young Charlie McDermott) and 5-year-old Ricky (James Reilly), in a shabby trailer house in the icy tundra where New York state meets Canada adjacent to a Mohawk Indian reservation. Ray's gambling addicted husband has deserted his family with the money being saved for a better, larger trailer house, and Ray is left to forge for her boys at her menial job, living paycheck to paycheck and forced to feed her children popcorn and Tang for meals. To make ends meet she attempts to find her missing husband and instead encounters his car as stolen by young Mohawk Lila (Misty Upham). Their confrontation leads to Ray and Lila partnering in smuggling immigrants (Chinese and Pakistani) from Canada to the US via drives across the frozen St. Lawrence river. How these two disparate women find common threads under desperate circumstances provides the bulk of this amazingly rich story. <BR/><BR/>Hunt manages to explore poverty, the displaced American Indian situation, smuggling, State Trooper mentality, and the extraordinary manner in which children left to their own parentless devices manage to stay above sinking with such skill that the incredible story being told seems like across the fence conversation - it is that real. The entire cast is exceptional, not only Leo and Upham, but all of the actors in even the smallest roles. This is a film to embrace, not avoid, as it speaks to the indomitable human spirit. Grady Harp

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    incredibly good

    I have never written a review, so I'll be brief..<BR/>I noticed no other reviews so I just had to say, in <BR/>case anyone wanted to know...<BR/>this is a GREAT movie...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2009

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    Posted August 5, 2009

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    Posted August 5, 2010

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews