Sunday, May 08, 2005

The Woodsman (2004) - * HIDDEN GEM *

"Let's play Michael Jackson!"

Genre: Drama

Starring: Kevin Bacon (Stir Of Echoes; Digging To China), Kyra Sedgewick (Phenomenon; Singles)

Directed By: Nicole Kassell

Overview: A man incarcerated for child molestation attempts to return to society after 12 years.

Acting: This is what the movie's all about. Subtle and strong, we aren't force-fed the details. Bacon speaks volumes in his pained squint, Mos Def in his soliloquies delivers. Everyone does a good job, awesome performances. This could be Oscar material (not that I give a rat's ass about what pat on the back the industry gives itself, but you know what I mean.)
Rating: 9

The images were not art, but that would have ruined the mood by trying to be too hip. The simplistic approach with the odd imaginary scene and the near-bleak rainy settings made for a great visual experience.
Rating: 8

Script: Along with the acting, this is a tremendously written tale. The best speeches were, without question, the ones of Mos Def's character, a parole officer, long ago jaded. The other dialogues were telling without ruining, and hinted without making you want to ask more questions. A tough thing to do, but they made the exact details of Walter's crimes of the past irrelevant compared to the demons he faces in the present.

Rating: 8

The plot is not entirely predictable. The title of the film was definitely a good choice, and though the flow of the story takes us to where we expect, it's a rare glimpse into dark territory, and worthy of a peep though interlaced fingers. Real daring, and really well presented.
Rating: 8

The constant reminders that children are in the lives of adults, that messages to protect our children are all around us; the way the story went makes sure that Walter isn't out of reach of temptation, while still presenting us with the constant influence of the adult opinion of child molesters, the childhood imagery and symbolism, the dark soul versus the purity of innocence. Damn!
Rating: 8

"Only if we can play dig me up and hump me Dirty Sanchez with some ice-cream..."

Overall Rating: 82% (Chop Up Some Time For This One)

Aftertaste: This is one of those movies that makes me glad there's people with guts in Hollywood, allowing a well known actor to do a role like this. It could have turned out badly, it could have been disgustingly rejected, but I think producers saw the script as solid, not causing too much controversy. I have hope that we can see this sort of thing more often. It's a real human story, and I'll remember and recommend it frequently.