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October 12, 2005

North Country

194927 New Zealand director Niki Caro ("Whale Rider") makes efficient use of Bob Dylan songs to punctuate a deeply personal story from the harsh terrain of the flok singer’s Northern Minnesota origins. Based on the book "Class Action: The Landmark Case That Changed Sexual Harassment Law," the film traverses lofty dramatic heights scaled in poignant films such as "Norma Rae" and "Slikwood" with similarly emotionally affecting results. Charlize Theron gives an excellently modulated performance as Josey Aimes, a mother who quits her abusive husband to rebuild a modest life working alongside her father (Richard Jenkins) in a local iron mine where she, along with several other female miners, suffers unmerciful physical and psychological sexual harassment. Consummate performances from an ensemble cast, including Frances McDormand, Sean Bean, Sissy Spacek and Michelle Monaghan, support this thoughtful examination of crucial familial, social, and political issues.

Rated R. 126 mins. (A+) (Five Stars)

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