Frozen River

DVD - 2009
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
Frozen River
Takes place in the days before Christmas near a little-known border crossing on the Mohawk reservation between New York State and Quebec. Ray, a white woman and Lila, a Mohawk are both single mothers, both earning minimum wage and facing desperate circumstances, are drawn by the lure of fast money into the world of border smuggling across the frozen water of the St. Lawrence River. New York State Trooper Finnerty ultimately brings the two to justice.


From Library Staff

This bleak film about a desperate woman transporting illegal immigrants across the Canada/US border is reminiscent of "Winter's Bone".

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Jan 22, 2015
  • Nursebob rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Ray Eddy is barely able to support herself and her two kids on the part-time wages she earns working at a discount dollar store. But when her deadbeat husband takes off with the final down payment on their new double-wide mobile home her precarious financial position becomes downright disastrous. With mounting debts and nowhere to turn, the family’s outlook looks increasingly grim until a chance encounter with a young Mohawk woman provides Ray with an opportunity to make some much needed money smuggling illegal aliens across the border in the trunk of her car. Lila Littlewolf has been involved in the human trafficking business for some time, using the frozen St. Lawrence as a makeshift highway between her reservation and the one in Canada. Justifying her actions as being nothing more than “trade” between two Indian nations she offers Ray several hundred dollars for every successful drop-off providing she keeps her mouth shut. It isn’t long before their nighttime trips raise the suspicions of a state trooper however, leading to some complications neither woman is prepared to face. Hunt’s gripping indie film carries itself with a confidence that belies its modest budget. Her use of frozen landscapes highlight the protagonists’ own dilemma as they try to eke out an existence in a world which leaves little room for moral qualms. Each woman carries a heavy burden, whether it’s Ray worrying about where her children’s next meal is going to come from or Lila trying to regain the baby stolen by her mother-in-law. Some of the scenes may be a little contrived, a Christmas Eve miracle proves a tad too symbolic for my tastes, but for the most part Hunt keeps things grounded and credible. I especially admired the small touches she employed to convey the older woman’s quiet despair; her silent tears, the broken makeshift carousel in the front yard, or the unopened packet of “Romance” bath salts sitting next to a rusted tub. The dialogue is genuine and the powerfully downplayed performances, including Melissa Leo’s Oscar-nominated portrayal of Ray, turn an otherwise pat ending into something almost beautiful. Well done.

Jan 20, 2015

Movie story about REAL people and how life can deal it's cards.
It was made my two lady's about two lady's and how sometimes
life can change in a day for anyone at any time.

Dec 06, 2014
  • pushpc rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This is a bit sad story but there is a hope in the ending. Many scenes impressed me quite a lot, e.g., I was worried about what the older brother was going to face for the thing he did, but it turned out... well.. you'll know if you watch it.

This is a good movie. As it goes slowly, patience is required.

Jul 27, 2013

Couldn't get past the rating & FBI screens on this DVD. Menu screen would not come on.

Sep 24, 2012
  • Ron@Ottawa rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

This is a pretty good, small film from the US (no, it is not a Canadian production as some has suggested), about a single mother struggling to make ends meet while attending her two children, whom she cared much about. Resorting to human trafficing to bring in the cash she needed happened by chance. But once hooked, she could not let go. A great human drama worth spending time on.

Jul 30, 2012
  • jeannenicole rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Interesting film - good performances all around. Low budget but high quality project. Good commentary by the director, adds to the details of what it took to get this film made.

Jun 19, 2012
  • btmslt rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

A not quite believeable story of the lenghts people will go to when their money is gone.

May 22, 2012
  • betweenthelines rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

A Canadian movie that suprised me. I saw this at the Bytowne cinema several years ago and decided to rent it again recently. Well written story. Patience is required as the story unfolds slowly. A very quiet location is the backdrop for this story about poverty, living up North, racial divides, Aboriginal community issues. I will give no further clues! A real nail bitter in some parts..The characters really grow on you..

Jan 20, 2012
  • Theodora3 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Melissa Leo gives a bravada performance. Not to be missed. She was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance and after seeing the DVD no question that she should have won

Oct 20, 2011
  • Fionaenzo rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Great film! Interesting premise - the porous border via the Mohawk reservation in New York.

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