New York Magazine


North Country
  Release Date: 10/21/05 (Future Release)

Starring: Charlize Theron, Frances McDormand, Sissy Spacek, Woody Harrelson, Sean Bean

Director: Niki Caro

Rating: (R)
  Running Time
  123 min
  Warner Bros. Pictures
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You know all the ads that position this soot-smudged Charlize Theron iron-miner-versus-male-chauvinist-pigs vehicle as being in the tradition of Norma Rae? Well, they’re right—so if you’ve seen the 1979 Sally Field rouser, you don’t have to see this exceedingly well-meaning, well-acted, but drearily predictable film. Theron is—I’m sorry—too delicate-looking and inherently glam to pass herself off as a bedraggled but earthy mom, abused wife, and beleaguered mine worker. Director Niki Caro (Whale Rider) would have done better to cast Frances McDormand, who plays Theron’s best work buddy, as the lead, but that wouldn’t have nearly as much box-office draw, right? So believability goes down the mine shaft as Theron is insulted and pawed by loutish men until she takes a lone stand, files a class-action sexual-harassment suit, and is represented by a cute lawyer (Woody Harrelson at his least hemp-hazy). Inspired by a true story, but it comes off as hooey: Don’t believe the noble hype.— Reviewed by Ken Tucker, New York Magazine