Combustible Celluloid
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With: Charlize Theron, Frances McDormand, Elle Peterson, Thomas Curtis, Sean Bean, Woody Harrelson, Jeremy Renner, Richard Jenkins, Sissy Spacek, James Cada, Rusty Schwimmer, Linda Emond, Michelle Monaghan, Brad William Henke, Jillian Armenante
Written by: Michael Seitzman, based on a book by Clara Bingham, Laura Leedy
Directed by: Niki Caro
MPAA Rating: R for sequences involving sexual harassment including violence and dialogue, and for language
Running Time: 130
Date: 09/12/2005

North Country (2005)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Enemy Mine

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Inspired by a landmark class action sexual harassment suit that brought victory to female coal miners in the 1980s, Niki Caro's award-mongering message movie throws in a rape subplot and a disease-of-the-week strain for good measure. Charlize Theron (with bad hair) gets in a few Oscar clip moments, while Frances McDormand (subtly reviving her Fargo accent) nearly outclasses her with several hospital/wheelchair moments. Not to ridicule the message itself, but Erin Brockovich (2000) once proved that this genre could be sassy and funny, and while Caro (Whale Rider) has a graceful touch and North Country never really missteps, neither does it try anything new or entertaining. The cast of recognizable faces also includes Sean Bean, Woody Harrelson, Sissy Spacek, Richard Jenkins and Michelle Monaghan.

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