After twelve years in prison, Walter arrives in an unnamed city, moves into a small apartment across the street from an elementary school, gets a job at a lumberyard, and mostly keeps to himself. A quiet, guarded man, Walter finds unexpected solace from Vickie, a tough-talking woman who promises not to judge him for his history. But Walter cannot escape his past. A convicted sex offender, Walter is warily eyed by his brother-in-law, shunned by his sister, lives in fear of being discovered at work, and is hounded by a suspicious local police officer, Detective Lucas. After befriending a young girl in a neighborhood park, Walter must also grapple with the terrible prospect of his own reawakened demons. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
An intelligent and thought-provoking film that never flinches from it's subject matter, and includes a superb performance from it's leading man. Kassell's film manages to steer clear of didacticism and lays the misunderstandings and prejudices about, and ignorance of, paedophilia open for the audience to interpret in their own way. The protagonist is neither a sympathetic hero or a villain, but during the course of the film he wavers between the two leaving the audience both supportive and sickened. This amalgam of conflicting emotions makes 'The Woodsman' essential viewing for a rational, adult audience. I only wonder how an audience would react to a paedophile played by an unknown actor without Bacon's profile, as I suspect many people would find it harder to accept without his charisma or celebrity attached to the film.
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