North Country

North Country

4.5 6
Director: Niki Caro

Cast: Charlize Theron, Frances McDormand, Sean Bean

     
 

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A fictionalized account of one of America's most groundbreaking sexual harassment lawsuits comes to the screen in this hard-hitting drama. In the late '80s, Josey Aimes (Charlize Theron) fled her abusive husband, and needed to find a way to support her two children. Aimes returned to her hometown in Minnesota and followed the lead of her old friend Glory (Frances

Overview

A fictionalized account of one of America's most groundbreaking sexual harassment lawsuits comes to the screen in this hard-hitting drama. In the late '80s, Josey Aimes (Charlize Theron) fled her abusive husband, and needed to find a way to support her two children. Aimes returned to her hometown in Minnesota and followed the lead of her old friend Glory (Frances McDormand), who had bucked tradition and found a job in the iron mines that had long provided employment for much of the community. Aimes found honest labor and a living wage working the mines, but she also discovered she was working with men who were uncomfortable working with women (whose right to work in the mines had been mandated by law almost 15 years prior), and didn't care to show them much respect. However, as Aimes found herself the growing target of sexist jokes and abhorrent behavior, she found that many of her female co-workers were reluctant to stand beside her, afraid of losing a good-paying job at a time when they were increasingly hard to find. But as a personal crisis became a public war of words, Aimes became the center of a nationwide controversy when she attempted to file a class action sexual harassment suit against the mine owners, which put her and her family in a position of scrutiny beyond her worst expectations. North Country also stars Sean Bean, Sissy Spacek, and Woody Harrelson.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Determined to take control of her life, single mom Josey Aimes (Charlize Theron) leaves her abusive boyfriend and moves back to the Minnesota mining town where she grew up. With opportunities scarce, she takes a job in the mines, only to find the workplace dangerous, dirty, and demeaning. Inspired by the first real-life class-action suit brought for sexual harassment, North Country provides Theron yet another meaty role that, like her Oscar-winning turn in Monster, sullies her glamour-puss persona. She didn't gain 30 pounds to play Josey, but she's no cover girl, either. Theron's ability to immerse herself in the role of a working-class single mother makes this film utterly convincing. New Zealand-born Whale Rider director Niki Caro replicates an oppressive workplace in which the few women workers are daily subjected to profanity, ridicule, and worse. Josey, being somewhat more attractive than the others, gets singled out for more blatant pestering and fights back the only way she knows how. You can't help but sympathize with her when she hires local lawyer Bill White (Woody Harrelson) to level harassment charges at her persecutors in court. Even her own father (Richard Jenkins), a mineworker himself, doesn't seem very sympathetic to her plight, and union rep Glory (Frances McDormand) is initially reluctant to get involved. Granted, Caro stacks the deck to make most of the male mineworkers particularly repugnant and the women all terrified victims, rendering North Country an unyielding catalyst for outrage. Caro's skill and the sterling performances of a stellar cast make it a particularly compelling two hours of cinema.
All Movie Guide
With North Country, director Niki Caro demonstrates astonishing range, effortlessly swapping Maoris coming of age in New Zealand (Whale Rider) for Minnesotans navigating the wintry terrain of sexual harassment. But there's a common theme to her work: girls/women carving out an equal role for themselves in a masculine world. North Country may not have the heart of a Whale Rider, nor of its thematic progenitor, Norma Rae, but it makes up for that in earnestness of purpose. Charlize Theron earned her second Best Actress nomination by inhabiting the same landscape that won her the statue for Monster -- a gritty, lived-in mélange of imperfections, from which her character is by no means exempt. Chris Menges' stunning camerawork brings alive the bleak beauty of the setting, which mirrors the characters' frigid attitudes on political correctness. One gets a slight sense that the depictions of Josey Aimes' misogynistic co-workers are exaggerated, but that could be because it seems hard to believe such malevolently dumb behavior ever prevailed in the workplace. Frances McDormand, also nominated in the supporting category, is equally superlative as Josey's sometimes-reluctant friend and champion. Regardless of its allegiance to the true events, the subplot involving the questionable parentage of Josey's oldest son tends to distract from the narrative. While the skeletons in Josey's closet undoubtedly make her a more complex character, not simply a martyr, they add sensationalism to a scenario already rich enough with it, just from the pornographic hostility aimed at Josey. A few minor misdirections aside, North Country is an unblinking portrait of a regular woman simply pursuing a regular level of respect.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/21/2006
UPC:
0012569593404
Original Release:
2005
Rating:
R
Source:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
2:06:00
Sales rank:
29,603

Special Features

Closed Caption; Making-of documentary; stories from the North Country; Additional scenes; Theatrical trailer; Languages: English & Français (Dubbed in Quebec); Subtitles: English, Français & Español (Feature Film Only)

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Charlize Theron Josey Aimes
Frances McDormand Glory Dodge
Sean Bean Kyle Dodge
Richard Jenkins Hank Aimes
Jeremy Renner Bobby Sharp
Michelle Monaghan Sherry
Woody Harrelson Bill White
Sissy Spacek Alice Aimes
Rusty Schwimmer Big Betty
Jillian Armenante Peg
Thomas Curtis Sammy Aimes
Elizabeth Peterson Karen Aimes
Linda Emond Leslie Conlin
Amber Heard Young Josie
Cole Williams Young Bobby
James Cada Don Pearson
Brad William Henke Lattavansky
John Aylward Judge Halsted
Xander Berkeley Arlen Pavich
Corey Stoll Ricky Sennett
Bryan Fagerstrom Mac
Chris Mulkey Earl Slangley
Arron Shiver Young Male Doctor
Clif Stokes Good Guy
JD Garfield Porta Guy #1
Boots Southerland Guy #2
John Hardman Guy #3
Forrest Norgaard Mac's Buddy
Sage Coy Stacey
Mark Chait Wayne
Dennis E. Garber Real Estate Agent
Alex Layton Number 3
Jacqueline Wright Bobby's Wife
Catherine Campion Stacey's Mom
Tom Bower Gray Suchett
David Lislegard Union Member #1
Kurt Peterson Union Member #2
Pete Pellinen Union Member #3
Bruce Bohne Union Member #4
Todd Robert Anderson Semen Man
Kit Gwin Larynx Nurse
Monsignor Patrick McDowell Priest
Raye Birk Tom Motel Clerk
Sally Wingert Kay Stollman
Katherine Ferrand Sally Bullavina
Curtis Plagge Burly Miner
Marc Miles Digger Driver
J.C. Cutler Union Rep #1
Gus Lynch Pete Union Rep
Mark Sivertsen Bailiff #1
Rand Kennedy Bailiff #2

Technical Credits
Niki Caro Director
Aleah Ames Costumes/Costume Designer
Tammy Ashmore Makeup
Helen Buck Bartlett Executive Producer
Sabrina Calley Costumes/Costume Designer
Doug Claybourne Executive Producer
Scott Cosgrove Stunts
David Coulson Editor
Cindy Evans Costumes/Costume Designer
Lena Fennema Stunts
Mali Finn Casting
Valerie Flueger Associate Producer
John Frick Set Decoration/Design
Toni G. Makeup
Nana Greenwald Executive Producer
Sally Harper Makeup
Alisa Hensley-Lane Stunts
Gregory Scott Hooper Art Director
Richard Hoover Production Designer
Jeremy Kalin Set Decoration/Design
Duane Manwiller Camera Operator
Chris Menges Camera Operator,Cinematographer
Greg T. Moon Makeup
Peter L. Mullin Consultant/advisor
Scott Nordhausen Set Decoration/Design
Gabrielle Petrissans Set Decoration/Design
Karyn Rachtman Musical Direction/Supervision
Shawn Robinson Stunts
Gustavo Santaolalla Score Composer
William Sarokin Sound/Sound Designer
Jeff Schoen Set Decoration/Design
Michael Seitzman Screenwriter
Jeff Skoll Executive Producer
Liz Tan Asst. Director
Tony Velasco Costumes/Costume Designer
Nick Wechsler Producer
Danny Wynands Stunts

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- North Country
1. Not Coming Back [3:10]
2. Disappointments [4:18]
3. Job at the Mine [5:45]
4. Where They're Not Wanted [3:33]
5. On the Job [3:58]
6. Pranks and Putdowns [4:49]
7. Take it Like a Man [6:48]
8. A Night Out [7:09]
9. Conveyer #4 [7:04]
10. A Few Differences [2:40]
11. Hockey Game Slander [6:36]
12. Where's Our Respect? [3:23]
13. Meeting With Person [4:51]
14. Like a Bull-Headed Teenager [:25]
15. Learn the Rules [4:41]
16. Deaf Ears [3:03]
17. I Want a Lawyer [3:09]
18. Other Plaintiffs Needed [5:08]
19. A Mother Rebels [5:04]
20. Union Meeting [4:35]
21. Covered in Soot [6:35]
22. Student/Teacher Relationship [1:48]
23. A Lot of Work to Hate [5:25]
24. You Were Mine [4:15]
25. Yellow-Ice Witness [3:15]
26. I Stand With Josey [3:47]
27. Behind the Wheel [2:35]
28. Coda, Dedication and End Credits [1:44]

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North Country 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Charlize Theron battles the male powers-that-be in this film. Though not Oscar worthy in my opinion, this is still a good movie to pass an evening. But to constantly see Anita Hill's questionable testimony on the TV in the movie was a low-point for this one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Based on a true story and was a little hard to watch but its one of those movies where you can't help but wanting to know about but not sure if you want to see but still the performances were good and it told of a message at the end of what characters learned through what they had gone through.
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