7.3/10
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North Country (2005)

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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.

Director:

Niki Caro

Writers:

Michael Seitzman (screenplay), Clara Bingham (book) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Charlize Theron ... Josey Aimes
Thomas Curtis Thomas Curtis ... Sammy Aimes
Elle Peterson ... Karen Aimes
Frances McDormand ... Glory
Sean Bean ... Kyle
Woody Harrelson ... Bill White
Jeremy Renner ... Bobby Sharp
Richard Jenkins ... Hank Aimes
Sissy Spacek ... Alice Aimes
James Cada James Cada ... Don Pearson
Rusty Schwimmer ... Big Betty
Linda Emond ... Leslie Conlin
Michelle Monaghan ... Sherry
Brad William Henke ... Lattavansky
Jillian Armenante ... Peg
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Storyline

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 Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

All She Wanted Was To Make A Living. Instead She Made History.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sequences involving sexual harassment including violence and dialogue, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 October 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Class Action See more »

Filming Locations:

Chisholm, Minnesota, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,422,455, 23 October 2005, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$18,324,242, 8 January 2006
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

All of the harassment depicted in the movie really happened to various women. Two women were trapped in porta-potties that were tipped while they were inside. Miners ejaculated onto female miner's clothes in lockers three times. Many more incidents of harassment occurred than could be shown in a two hour movie. See more »

Goofs

During the opening text about women miners, the word "Northern" is spelled "Norhtern". See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Josey Aimes: [testifying] 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.
Lawyer: I'm sure we're all sufficiently impressed, Mrs. Aimes.
Josey Aimes: There's no "Mrs." here.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The Warner Bros. logo plays but with no music. See more »

Connections

Featured in 12th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Wasn't That A Party
Written by Tom Paxton
Performed by The Irish Rovers
Courtesy of Varèse Sarabande Records, Inc./The Irish Rovers Company, Ltd.
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User Reviews

'What are you supposed to do when the ones with all the power are hurting those with none?'
9 June 2008 | by ChrysanthepopSee all my reviews

I thought this would be one of those issue-based legal drama movies about sexual harassment where the main character is harassed a couple of times and then she eventually fights back. I was apprehensive about buying it. I mean I wanted to see it but whether it was worth buying was another thing. After checking, I decided to gamble. I bought the DVD and watched it and discovered that 'North Country' is about much more than sexual harassment. As the film progresses towards the end, we are addressed more important themes such as the consequence of rape on the relationship between a mother and child and how her silence is used as a weapon against her. However, while these issues are interestingly dealt with and fit the story they slightly deviate from the main theme of sexual harassment.

Niki Caro does a fine job in directing. Her intentions are sincere. Perhaps the script could have been a little tighter and the courtroom sequences could have been better handled as they are a little too dramatic and unrealistic, especially the judge letting White to argue his case that way. In addition to that, the case became more about Josey's sex life rather than the actual harassment and terrorizing in the workplace. Even though this provides a twist in the story and explains a lot of Josie's situation, it takes away from the main theme. Also most of the male characters have been caricatured. I understand the film is about Josey which may be the reason why these characters weren't given much attention but even Josey's father is portrayed as a misogynist and all of a sudden he is shown to have a change of heart. It would have liked to see this characters inner conflict as he plays a crucial role in Josey's life.

In the technical front, the cinematography is smooth and gives us some spectacular glimpse of the snowy landscape and the coal mines. The sound effect and country-feel soundtrack are quite good too.

Charlize Theron deserves all the recognition she got for giving a strong, confidant and heartfelt performance as the brave hard-working and headstrong Josey Aimes. She breathes fire into her role and, along with Frances McDormand, she's the heart of the film. McDormand performs naturally and her tragic character provides some great comic relief. She has some witty one-liners that bring a smile. While most of the guys are portrayed as nasty sleazy men, Sean Bean's Kyle is the complete opposite. Nonetheless, the actor does a fine job (quite a deviation from what the type of roles he's more famous for). Harrelson's Bill White suffers from poor characterization. His character is a bit too sketchy. Harrelson tries the best with what he's got and turns in a decent enough performance. Richard Jenkins too suffers from poor writing. Sissy Spacek has a tiny role but she has a subtle dignified presence and her character contributes to one of the major turning points of the story. Rusty Schwimmer and Michelle Monaghan are adequate.

'North Country' isn't an easy film to watch because of the explicit scenes of sexual harassment and the haunting rape scene but it is a relevant film. Not only is it about women's rights, it's about everyone's right to live a life with dignity, to work with dignity. It's about standing up against injustice rather than turning a blind eye. It's about protecting your loved ones and fighting for what you believed in. Though 'North Country' isn't without its share of flaws (it is a little preachy and sometimes too dramatic), it brings forth some important themes well enough and with the support of good direction and strong performances, it's worth watching.


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