<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d15109074\x26blogName\x3dThe+Arts+Corner\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dTAN\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttp://lovelysalomearts.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den_US\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://lovelysalomearts.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d-228031166709675816', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>

15 June 2005

The Woodsman

Kevin Bacon, Kyra Sedgwick, Benjamin Bratt, Mos Def

Directed by Nicole Kassell

From Hollywood Video: "This controversial drama follows a convicted child abuser who attempts to rebuild his life upon his release from prison. He gets a job, makes a friend, and meets a woman, but his tendency toward deviant behavior is ever-present."

In this difficult film about the struggle against everyday evil, Kevin Bacon is remarkable as Walter. His subtle portrayal of a man at war with his own potential for darkness is revealed in almost every scene. His eyes follow a child. His eyes water as he watches her go, ashamed but unable to look away. He appears in pain, crippled with need -- for the forbidden, for normalcy -- and with self-loathing. Kyra Sedgwick enters his life as a co-worker at a lumberyard, herself a childhood vicitm of abuse at the hands of her older brothers. Their relationship was a bit on the convenient side; she grapples with the truth of his past much less than I expected.

Mos Def, a rapper who has already completed a number of film and television roles, was a particular surprise. As Sgt. Lucas, Walter's parole watchdog, he progresses through a challenging set of scenes: initially he despises Walter, this piece of shit who abused little girls and reminds him of all the other criminals he has faced in the past, but after another child molester is found beaten to a pulp at Walter's hands, their relationship changes. He witnesses Walter's genuine, hard-fought, daily struggle to become a man who can live unmoved by his worst urges.

Benjamin Bratt, as husband to Walter's estranged sister, also delivers a great performance as he carefully tries to balance his duties as father, husband & friend. His initially easy-going attitude is challenged by Walter's quest to understand his own perversion, culminating in a wonderful scene where he must make the threat every father would be compelled issue when confronted with the possibility of real danger to his child.

Temptation is everywhere. Walter follows a girl in the mall. He talks to one in a park. How far will he go? Is jail, morality, his new girlfriend, or his own self-hatred enough to keep him from repeating his crimes? Ultimately, the controversy of Kassell's directoral debut surrounds her successful attempt to generate a certain level of empathy for Walter. You know he is a child molester, but he genuinely fights his impulses in search of a normal life -- a life he defines as one where he is able to see a girl, talk to a girl, without wanting her. The human behind the monster is actually the chilling part of this film, and humanizing Walter makes his potential for the worst sort of crime all the more terrible.

Post a Comment

<< Return to Salome's Corner