Review of The Woodsman

The Woodsman (2004)
9/10
Superb exploration of shame and the struggle to be normal
12 December 2004
This is a somewhat slow (never boring) film with several performances of the highest quality. Kyra Sedgwick has amazing scenes, and one in particular flipped around my perception of every other character's motivation. David Alan Grier's performance is, maybe for the first time, not over the top. Hannah Pilkes, in her first film, nearly steals the scene from Kevin Bacon. Eve and Benjamin Bratt both do a good job. Mos Def's lines are either beyond his range or the lines themselves are just too heavy-handed, but Kevin plays off of them in brilliant silence.

Kevin Bacon's performance is Oscar-worthy. In other films, weak effects, poor acting, awful dialog, etc., have pulled me out of the world that the film was attempting to create. Kevin's performance is so good that at one time I found myself pulled out of the experience in awe; while continuing to believe the truth of the character, I was at the same time floored by Kevin's ability to deliver such depth.

Sure, the subject matter allows actors to express strong feeling. Anger is an easy route, as is self-loathing. This script has some of that, but what makes this film great is that primarily it chooses to explore shame and the struggle to be normal. The actors (Bacon, Kira, Pilkes) that are given the opportunity to explore that, they really excel in this film.
86 out of 99 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink

Recently Viewed