Debut director Nicole Kassell compassionately explores the troubled psyche of a former pedophile struggling with inner demons and external obstacles to lead a normal life. Kevin Bacon gives a vulnerable and brave performance as Walter, an ex-convict sex offender recently released after a 12-year prison sentence. Walter goes between his day at a Philadelphia lumber yard and his lonely apartment uncomfortably located across the street from a grade school. Pressures from Walter's hostile co-workers, his probation officer (Mos Def), and illicit sexual desires are pitted against his difficult attempts at romance with his co-worker Vicki (Kyra Sedgwick). "The Woodsman" is a thoughtful and difficult film adapted from a stage play by Steven Fechter that dares to look deep into the mind of a pedophile and the social environment surrounding this specific example. It is a profoundly responsible film by a very talented and benevolent ensemble of cast and crew.
Rated R. 87 mins. (A-) (Four Stars)