Cast: Charlize Theron, Frances McDormand, Richard Jenkins, Sean Bean, Woody Harrelson, Sissy Spacek, Jeremy Renner, Michelle Monaghan
Director: Niki Caro
Screenplay: Michael Seitzman
Rated: M strong sexual references, strong coarse language, infrequent violence
Running Time: 126 Minutes
All She Wanted Was To Make A Living. Instead She Made History.
Inspired by the book titled "Class Action: The Landmark Case That Changed Sexual Harassment Law" by Clara Bingham and Laura Leedy Gansler.
When Josey Aimes (Academy Award winner Charlize Theron) returns to her hometown in Northern Minnesota after a failed marriage, she needs a good job. A single mother with two children to support, she turns to the predominant source of employment in the region - the iron mines.
When Josey speaks out against the treatment she and her fellow workers face she is met with resistance - not only from those in power but from a community that doesn't want to hear the truth, her disapproving parents and many of her own colleagues who fear she is only making things worse.
Through these struggles Josey will find the courage to stand up for what she believes in - even if that means standing alone.
Josey Aimes (Charlize Theron) is a single mother of two children, Sammy and Karen. After leaving her abusive partner, Josey returns to her parents seeking refuge but determined to support herself and her children. A chance meeting with Glory (Frances McDormand) leads her to a job at the local mine where woman are not really welcome and they are constantly bombarded with harassment in various forms form their male counterparts. Josey doggedly puts up with the abuse until boiling point and she eventually seeks a lawyer, Bill White (Woody Harrelson) to help her sue the mining company for sexual harassment.
Josey wins the case, leading a class action against the company, which became the catalyst for many sexual discrimination laws that now exist, but not before some emotional turmoil involving her children, her parents and her co-workers. Beginning with courtroom scenes, Josey's story is told in flashback, which is inter-twined with the progression of the court case.
Charlize Theron gives a powerful and compelling performance as Josey Aimes, further cementing her undeniable talent to portray women who have lead incredible lives (think her role as Aileen Wuornos in 'Monster', 2004). Charlize has the ability to totally immerse herself in the character making a total package that is believable and credible as well as having permanently bloodshot eyes throughout!
The supporting cast are all more than adequate and have their own demons to deal with as they all affected by Josie's dilemma. Her father, Hank (Richard Jenkins), has to struggle with the love for his daughter and his job at the same mine and her mother, Alice (Sissy Spacek), has a small but pivotal role that is handled strongly.
With a very emotive musical score that is used to really tug at the heartstrings, there is the potential for 'North Country' to sink into soppiness and go for complete and utter sentimentality, but fortunately director Niki Caro manages to mostly contain this temptation and keep the action strong and meaningful. Not overwhelmingly great, but still a very worthy movie.
Rating : *** ½