A fictionalized account of the first major successful sexual harassment case in the United States -- Jenson vs. Eveleth Mines, where a woman who endured a range of abuse while working as a miner filed and won the landmark 1984 lawsuit.
1989. Josey Aimes takes her two kids, Sammy and Karen, and leaves her abusive husband Wayne, to return to her northern Minnesota home town. On a chance meeting with her old friend Glory Dodge who works as a driver and union rep at the mine operated by Pearson Taconite and Steel, Josey decides to work at the mine as well, work that is dominated by men in number and in tone. She does so to be able to stand on her own two feet for the first time in her life, something she probably could not have done if she remained in a job washing hair at a beauty salon. Working at the mine does not sit well with her father, Hank Aimes, who also works at the mine and who, like the other male workers, believes she is taking a job away from a man. Hank has believed that all Josey's problems are of her own doing, ever since she, unmarried, had Sammy while she was still in high school. Josey has always stated that she does not know who Sammy's biological father is, which fosters Hank's attitude about her. ... Written by
The scene at the Union meeting was filled with four hundred real miners from the Iron Range. See more »
The Minneapolis skyline includes a few buildings that didn't exist in 1988-89. See more »
Lady, you sit in your nice house, clean floors, your bottled water, your flowers on Valentine's Day, and you think you're tough? Wear my shoes. Tell me tough. Work a day in the pit, tell me tough.
I'm sure we're all sufficiently impressed, Mrs. Aimes.
There's no "Mrs." here.
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The Warner Bros. logo plays but with no music. See more »
Despite being a little preachy and over the top, North Country is still an effective drama
Charlize Theron is Josey Aimes, a single mother of two children who moves back home to Minnesota after her boyfriend gets abusive, and has to start working at the mine to earn a living. When she's put through all sorts of indignities from the mine's male workers, she gets a lawyer (Woody Harrelson) to help her file a class action suit against the mining company for sexual harassment.
After watching the trailer for North Country, I thought the film was going to be a very bad feminist movie but it's a lot more than that. Sure, the film may display most guys in the film as sexist pigs but it wasn't too overdone. Niki Caro captures all the relationships and all the situations so well. The relationship between Josey and her two kids was very well done and very moving. Her sacrifice for them was great and the film captured that so well. The relationship between Josey and her father was also pretty good and kind of hard to watch because he didn't help his daughter at first. The relationship between Josey and Bill (Harrelson) wasn't very good. They tried to push the romance at the beginning of the film but then completely dropped it. It seemed like a big waste of time and a lot of work for nothing. Caro did a fine job at capturing all the problems the women were having. Some were hard to watch because the situations were kind of disgusting but they were pretty realistic.
The acting, for the most part, is pretty good and strong. The best being Charlize Theron. She gives a very heartwarming and effective performance. Frances McDormand also gives a good performance though she didn't really deserve an Oscar nomination. Her performance wasn't bad, just kind of ordinary. Woody Harrelson gives an okay performance. He's not very convincing when he's in the courtroom but he's pretty good outside the courtroom. Sissy Spacek was in the film for about a total of 25 minutes. The trailer makes it seem like she's an important character but she was underused. Sean Bean gives an okay performance but he was a little weak during the serious scenes. Richard Jenkins plays Josey's father and he gives a strong performance as well. The only performances I didn't like were from some of the co workers at the mine. Most of them were pretty weak and most were pretty unconvincing.
The film is of course not perfect. It's a little over the top and preachy. They didn't beat their message into the viewers head but sometimes they did shove it down our throats a little too much. The only bad thing Caro did were the court room scenes. I thought the film was pretty realistic except for all the times they were in the courtroom. It was so cheesy and over the top. It didn't kill the movie but a more mature approach to them would have been better. The ending was also a little weak. It was too cheesy and it felt rushed. The film is over two hours long but apparently not long enough because not everything wraps up nicely. In the end, Norma Rae is better and so is Erin Brockovich but North Country is still a powerful drama that should appeal too most people. Rating 7/10
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