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
Glory is based on Pat Kosmach, a divorced mother of five, who went to work in the mines to support her children. She died of Lou Gehrig's disease before the case was settled. See more »
When Josey drives through downtown Minneapolis, at least two cars in the background are obviously post-1989 models. 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 »
North Country is stark proof that truth is stranger than fiction. The Director, New-Zealander Niki Caro (Whale Rider), perhaps a very apt directorial choice, being a woman, yet at the same time, precisely not being American! In the mines of Minnesota in 1989, only 3% of the workers are women. There is a whole confluence of constantly orchestrated pressure applied against all female miners intended to get them to resign.
Charlize Theron (Who won the Oscar for best actress in MONSTER in the role of the only female serial-killer in U.S. history, Florida's Aileen Wuornos) as expected, is absolutely magnificent as Josey Aimes, a woman whose only motivation is wanting to provide a better life for her two children. The fight is quite a tough one for Josey. At first, everyone seems clearly to be set against her. Neither her friends, nor his parents, not even her own children give her their support! But Josey is a very stubborn human being who does not permit anything or anyone to discourage her. Gradually, her unshakable character, her unparalleled courage and the enormity of the injustice committed against her finally begin working in her favor.
North Country at times does exhibit some rather lethargic moments, but the cast and the quality of the story are so outstanding that is easy to overlook this minor flaw. Frances McDormand (1996 Oscar winner for FARGO) also shines in the multifaceted role of best friend; coworker, representing women's interests among union workers and victim of one of the worst evils occasionally affecting mine workers: Lung Cancer! Woody Harrelson (Natural Born Killers) is convincing as the ex-football player town hero turned lawyer who takes on Josey's case. Sissy Spacek (Carrie: original version) as the dutiful Mom and Richard Jenkins (Six Feet Under) as the skeptical dad.
Almost everyone who works or has worked recently in the United States knows that the problem of sexual harassment in the workplace is something that is taken extremely seriously. This is thanks, in large part, to Josey Aimes, and the struggle she was forced to wage against that Minnesota mining company over 30 years ago! It is really worth traveling to North Country to see both Charlize Theron's and Frances McDormand's Oscar Nomination performances!
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