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Frozen River

A cold film with a warm ending
By MARK BAZER  |  August 20, 2008
3.0 3.0 Stars
FrozenRiverinside.jpg

Put away the Pineapple Express — if anything says summer’s over, it’s a movie called Frozen River. Written and directed by Courtney Hunt (her debut feature), this Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner takes us to a remote stretch of the New York–Quebec border where, come winter, there’s not much to do but wish you were elsewhere. Ray (Melissa Leo) works a go-nowhere job, her husband has taken off with the money for a new trailer, and everyone (the men, especially) she meets treats her like shit. It’s a bleak set-up. But that’s what it takes to induce this mother of two boys to join an equally shat-upon young Mohawk mom in transporting, across the frozen St. Lawrence, illegal aliens to the States. Their relationship is the film’s heart, as the two — who initially aren’t any kinder to each other than anyone else is — realize they share the same humble goal: to be able to give their families something they won’t lose. A cold film ends in a nice warm glow. 97 minutes | Kendall Square

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