Melissa Leo and Misty Upham forge a bond by smuggling aliens, 9 October 2016
"Frozen River" (2008) is a tense and suspenseful story. Itís an original and novel story brought to the screen skilfully by writer-director Courtney Hunt. The style is realism. A similar style appears in some European films like the Pusher trilogy and "Slovenian Girl". A large portion of the film is also in a neo-noir vein that shows lower-class poor people struggling against Fate, hardship, poverty, other people and a harsh environment. Two impoverished women come together in smuggling aliens across the Canadian border to New York, making use of a frozen river and a Mohawk reservation that straddles the river.
As the film moves forward and toward its conclusion, Fate finds itself counteracted by some strong human forces. The noir aspect of the story pretty much is checked, but not checkmated. Themes emerge: love, love of children, friendship across races, forgiveness. These appear through action primarily, not dialog, making them all the stronger. The result is a moving story. This is an excellent indie film.