Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Frozen River

On Sunday, Vincent and I watched this, and it was excellent. It tells the story of two women, brought together by their desperate situations; Ray, a mother of two whose gambling husband has just taken off with the deposit for their kit-home, and Lila, a young widow whose baby has been taken from her by her mother-in-law. Both women are struggling to survive and to provide for their children in a climate that is cold in every sense, and the film could be incredibly bleak but for their amazing spirits. It is a woman's story; there is no way these characters could have been men. And it is a story I would never know, but for the film.

That's what I was trying to get at when I wrote my half-ass post about The Great Gatsby. I know how rich people live, because there have been countless books written and tv programmes and films made about them. They are privileged, not only in their material wealth, but in that their perspectives are always dominant, both in a capitalist sense and in the sense that their stories are told over and over. Rich people have problems; so do I. They are problems everyone faces (although I never ran over my husband's mistress); they are dealt with differently, but they are essentially the same. The stories in Frozen River, however, are forgotten or untold perspectives; these women control nothing and are thus silent, and yet they have so much more to tell about life, and the world, and what is real and important.

I just broke my train of thought by eating a plateful of quesadillas so I might as well end this and go and have a cupcake for dessert. But I really, really recommend Frozen River; aside from the story, the acting is brilliant (Melissa Leo was the second best thing next to Amy Adams in The Fighter) and a nice reminder that there are movies where the female leads don't have to be botoxed to the hilt to be cast, (incidentally, the wrinkles in the film are beautiful).

This is completely unrelated, but I am leaving you with this video. I've been a bit shitty all day but I forgot all about that when the disc got up to this bit. If only Kirk lived in Auckland. If only. 

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