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The Woodsman

4.3 3
Director: Nicole Kassell,

Cast: Kevin Bacon, Kyra Sedgwick, Eve

The Woodsman, Nicole Kassell's drama about a child molester attempting to overcome his past, debuts on DVD with a widescreen anamorphic transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1. English soundtracks are rendered in Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS Stereo. Supplemental materials includes a commentary from first-time director Kassell,


The Woodsman, Nicole Kassell's drama about a child molester attempting to overcome his past, debuts on DVD with a widescreen anamorphic transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1. English soundtracks are rendered in Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS Stereo. Supplemental materials includes a commentary from first-time director Kassell, deleted scenes, and a featurette about the difficulty of bringing the film to fruition.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Kevin Bacon, a generally underrated actor who has never been afraid to take chances, really goes out on a limb with a nuanced performance as a pedophile in this intense but rewarding drama. He plays Walter, a guilt-ridden ex-con who attempts to make a place for himself in society after spending 12 years in prison. Keeping his background a secret, he takes a job in a lumberyard and even begins dating a co-worker, forklift operator Vickie (Kyra Sedgwick, Bacon's real-life wife). But his past eventually becomes known and he finds himself struggling to stay on the path to redemption. The directorial debut of recent NYU Film School graduate Nicole Kassell, The Woodsman is remarkably assured; there's nothing at all tentative about the material or the way it's handled. Kassell tells a story that rejects any facile, one-dimensional characterization of the pedophile-as-monster. She presents Walter as a tormented soul grappling with his conscience and forcing himself to reject thoughts and behaviors he instinctively knows to be abhorrent. This is a real tour de force for Bacon, who imbues the child molester with genuine emotions. Home viewers, like some of the film's supporting characters, may detest Walter for what he has done, but before the closing credits roll they'll have a better idea of who he is. Kassell wisely avoids anything that smacks of sensationalism or exploitation, and that makes Woodsman palatable for consumption by mature audiences. To the extent that the movie is about understanding and forgiveness, it can be seen as teaching lessons we all need to learn -- or relearn.
All Movie Guide
The "sympathetic pedophile" was purely an oxymoron before Todd Solondz, who included a repugnant -- yet strangely pitiable -- child molester as part of his 1998 ensemble film Happiness. Now, Nicole Kassell dares to make such a person not only the central character, but the protagonist, in The Woodsman, adapted from Steven Fechter's play. Critics had a lot of trouble with this film, some accusing it of letting Walter Rossworth off too easy, others grappling with their discomfort over being so personally confronted by the inner workings of his sickness. But if Kassell paints in broad strokes, it's because the audience needs some amount of spoon-feeding to comprehend such damnable sins, which get disqualified from any normal notion of forgiveness. If there are some formulaic characters, obvious symbols, and maybe a few seemingly pat answers, it's because this type of film is so unfamiliar to audiences, it need not be more than the prototypical case study of the child molester's return to society. At its core, the film asks, "Now what?" Families of pedophiles -- and their victims -- deal with this every day, just never on film. Kevin Bacon's portrayal is anything but simple, though it may be quiet, quivering, and at times shell-shocked. Kassell wants the audience to open up to him, but she's not about to make him a saint, leaving the perversions of his past dangerously close to the surface. The secondary, more pernicious molester stalking the nearby elementary school is too blunt a narrative device, and some viewers will undoubtedly be troubled by the character arc of Walter's new girlfriend, played by Bacon's real-world wife, Kyra Sedgwick. However viewers ultimately feel about Walter Rossworth, The Woodsman is sure to open a dialogue about the possibility of rehabilitation and the sincerity of regret.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]

Special Features

Closed Caption; Director's commentary; Deleted and extended scenes; "Getting It Made" featurette; Bonus previews

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Kevin Bacon Walter
Kyra Sedgwick Vickie
Eve Mary-Kay
Mos Def Det. Lucas
David Alan Grier Bob
Benjamin Bratt Carlos
Michael Shannon Rosen
Hannah Pilkes Robin
Carlos Leon Pedro
Gina Philips Actor

Technical Credits
Nicole Kassell Director,Screenwriter
Kevin Bacon Executive Producer
Kerry Barden Casting
Stephen Beatrice Production Designer
Mark Bennett Casting
Marvet Britto Executive Producer
Linda Cohen Musical Direction/Supervision
Lisa Cortes Co-producer
Lee Daniels Producer
Damon Dash Executive Producer
Thomas Fatone Asst. Director
Steven Fechter Screenwriter
Frank Fleming Costumes/Costume Designer
Lisa Fruchtman Editor
Xavier Pérez Grobet Cinematographer
Valerie Hoffman Co-producer
Billy Hopkins Casting
Brian A. Kates Editor
Nathan Larson Score Composer
Dawn Lenfest Executive Producer
Brook Lenfest Executive Producer
David C. Robinson Co-producer
Suzanne Smith Casting
Thomas G. Varga Sound/Sound Designer
Christine Wick Set Decoration/Design
Candice Williams Associate Producer

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Main Titles/Adjusting [5:29]
2. Family Ties [3:23]
3. Reflection [3:09]
4. First Impressions [3:51]
5. Watching Candy [3:24]
6. Damaged Goods [3:13]
7. Revelations [4:09]
8. Loving Too Much [4:07]
9. Sergeant Lucas [3:19]
10. My Idea of Normal [3:48]
11. Tough Ivy [4:32]
12. Love and Denial [3:54]
13. I Am Not a Monster [3:12]
14. Earliest Images [4:56]
15. Bird Watching, People Watching [3:42]
16. A Predator Sport [1:45]
17. Little Red Riding Hood [5:58]
18. Watch Your Back [3:35]
19. Uncommon Beauty [3:48]
20. Sending Robin Home [3:18]
21. Self-Hatred [2:03]
22. Stay out of Trouble [2:40]
23. Hurt and Angry [2:27]
24. End Credits [3:21]


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The Woodsman 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Kevin Bacon gives an extraordinary performance in this brave,classy debut from director Nicole Kassell - the interesting thing about the film is it's daring ability to look a diffcult subject and (potentially) reprehensible character square in the face without being demeaning and judgemental,a facet given great credibility by Bacon's astoundingly self-loathing performance. We are asked to see this man as flawed,depraved AND human,who realises he has done wrong,and in the best scene in the film (a chat on a park bench with an eleven year old girl),to stare straight into the abyss of his crimes. Sensitively played,carefully open-ended without being non-resolutional,and deeply felt,this is the kind of movie that should have OSCAR written all over it,particularly the best actor statuette,but alas,we still live in a world where 'difficult' subject matter does not for popular acceptance make,even though it would provoke powerful discussions. One of the best acted films of the last few years. Plaudits to Bacon's real-life missus for her sterling performance,too..
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Woodsman was one of the most heart-pounding and dramatic films I have seen all year. The cast was well-picked, and Kevin Bacon does an awesome job as a sued-to-be child molester.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago