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Friday, March 9, 2007

Indie Pick O' The Day: The Woodsman

I enjoy watching a film that deal with heavy controversial issues. I also like to watch films where the main character has a constant inner conflict they struggle with through their journey. The film The Woodsman, has both of these qualities. The film was directed by Nicole Kassell. She graduated from NYU film school. She submitted her screenplay, The Woodsman to the 2001 Slamdance Screenplay Competition. She won and became the director for the film that which was released in January 2004.

The Woodsman is about a former pedophile, played by Kevin Bacon who tries to start over and blend in with society after his 12 year prison sentence. Coincidentally, his apartment is directly across from an elementary school. Day in and day out Walter (Bacon), looks out of the window and stares at the children less than 50 feet away. Although there is no dialogue in these scenes,

you can clearly read by the expression on his face that he is conflicted and still feel tempted to interact with the young children. Although he is reticent and guarded, he manages to start a relationship with Vickie (played by Bacon’s wife Kyra Sedgwick). She is unbiased and accepts his former crimes although she has many skeletons of her own that she later reveals to Walter.
It seems like life is going well at a slow steady pace for Walter and he manages to fine a his blue collar job supp
ort himself. A curious co-worker is soon wants to know why this quiet reserved man is so guarded and decides to search his name on the Internet. She soon discovers he is a pedophile and Walters world comes crashing down yet again.

The script is stunning and the performances are intense. Kevin Bacon is phenomenal as Walter and it is amazing that even with the little bits of dialogue you receive from his character, still tells you so much about who he is and what his intentions are. Mos Def does an amazing job as the suspicious detective that feels confident that he will strike again and monitors his every move.
This film is a story about redemption and a man trying to move on with his life and figure out where his place is in society. The film was produced by the same company that made Monster’s Ball, another film that shares a smililar story arc.

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