The Woodsman (2004) is a English movie. Nicole Kassell has directed this movie. Kevin Bacon,Kyra Sedgwick,Yasiin Bey,David Alan Grier are the starring of this movie. It was released in 2004. The Woodsman (2004) is considered one of the best Drama movie in India and around the world.
After twelve years in prison, Walter arrives in an unnamed city, moves into a small apartment across the street from an elementary school, gets a job at a lumberyard, and mostly keeps to himself. A quiet, guarded man, Walter finds unexpected solace from Vickie, a tough-talking woman who promises not to judge him for his history. But Walter cannot escape his past. A convicted sex offender, Walter is warily eyed by his brother-in-law, shunned by his sister, lives in fear of being discovered at work, and is hounded by a suspicious local police officer, Detective Lucas. After befriending a young girl in a neighborhood park, Walter must also grapple with the terrible prospect of his own reawakened demons.
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The last film that unsettled me much like "The Woodsman" did was Todd Solondz's superb and exceedingly black comedy, "Happiness" (1998), which dealt with similar themes. But unlike Solondz, who never seems to like any of his characters, screenwriters Nicole Kassell and Steven Fechter appear to genuinely care about the people they create. Their story's really very simple: Walter (Kevin Bacon) gets out of prison after serving a dozen years for molesting young girls. He takes a job at a Philadelphia-area lumber mill and tries to get his life back together again, while dealing with his inner demons. What's likely to disturb many about "The Woodsman" is that Kassell and Fechter raise the intriguing question of whether someone who's done something despicable is not only capable of putting his life back together again after serving his time, but also whether society ought to allow him to do so. And to make our job even tougher, Kassell and Fechter don't turn Walter into a monster. "The Woodsman" is aided immensely by a strong, compelling performance by Bacon. It's easily his best work, a role that requires him to underplay his character. Director Kassell isn't shy about letting the camera linger on Bacon's face and Bacon credibly brings to life Walter's suffering. It's a sensationally good performance. Bacon gives him depth and feeling and we suddenly find ourselves caring about this reprehensible man. There are some superb supporting performances, including Mos Def as a cop, David Alan Grier as Walter's boss and Benjamin Bratt proving he really can act if he's given a good role. The most interesting supporting character is Vickie, a coworker willing to give Walter a second chance at life. Kyra Sedgwick, a gifted, yet under-rated, actress, is utterly convincing as Vickie, a woman almost as damaged as Walter is. The Walter-Vickie relationship works because there's terrific chemistry between Bacon and Sedgwick. True, they're husband and wife, but real-life couples can fail miserably on screen. Kidman and Cruise in "Far and Away" (1992), anyone? Bacon and Sedgwick's scenes are tender, passionate and real. Though, there's one intimate moment between Walter and Vickie that's clearly inspired by the famous Donald Sutherland-Julie Christie love scene in Nicolas Roeg's "Don't Look Now" (1973). What makes "The Woodsman" such gripping viewing is that the film doesn't shy away from letting us into Walter's struggle. There's a particularly uncomfortable scene on a park bench as Walter comes to terms with his true nature. "The Woodsman" is a film that deserves to be seen. It's a pity that less-than-mediocre movies, such as "Connie and Carla" and "Twisted," get widely released, while a gem like "The Woodsman" gets to very few theaters. Seek out this film. It's not an easy film to watch, but the performances are all good, the story's riveting and it's definitely one of the best, most thought-provoking films of the year.
An intelligent and thought-provoking film that never flinches from it's subject matter, and includes a superb performance from it's leading man. Kassell's film manages to steer clear of didacticism and lays the misunderstandings and prejudices about, and ignorance of, paedophilia open for the audience to interpret in their own way. The protagonist is neither a sympathetic hero or a villain, but during the course of the film he wavers between the two leaving the audience both supportive and sickened. This amalgam of conflicting emotions makes 'The Woodsman' essential viewing for a rational, adult audience. I only wonder how an audience would react to a paedophile played by an unknown actor without Bacon's profile, as I suspect many people would find it harder to accept without his charisma or celebrity attached to the film.
The journeyman actor Kevin Bacon blows most of the current Oscar Best Actor competition out of the water with his searing portrayal of a paroled pedophile in The Woodsman. The difficult subject matter may spell box-office suicide for this film, particularly at Christmas time. However, if Newmarket Films is smart, they will market this the same way Monster was promoted for Charlize Theron's performance. Bacon employs a minimalist acting style and submerges himself into this complex character, on the strength of his physicality alone. Thin and gaunt, hair darkened, eyes dead, and jaw severely set, Bacon doesn't waste a facial muscle or telegraph anything more than necessary. He allows us to get into the character's head piece by piece, and it's not always a pleasant place to be. Bacon is uncompromising in his refusal to make anything about the character trivial and sentimental, and that is the key to his success in making Walter such a vivid, believable man. The screenplay seems to almost be stripped bare, with little actually revealed through dialogue. However, monologues are used to great effect. Bacon's mesmerizing performance is enhanced by astute direction from first-timer Nicole Kassell, who also adapted the screenplay with the original playwright, Steven Fechter. The cast is superb-Benjamin Bratt, Kyra Sedgwick, David Alan Grier, the beautiful Eve, and best of all, Mos Def, who steals virtually every scene he is in against Bacon, no small task. for those celebrity-watchers, Madonna's baby's daddy, Carlos Leon (father of Lourdes) is in a few scenes. This is a must-see for Bacon's work, and for the tasteful, intelligent way the subject matter is handled. In short, Tough material, good solid film.
I saw this movie at the Vancouver Film Festival. Not only was it one of the best movies I saw at the fest, but one of the best of the year. I truly believed it to be Bacon's career performance. The script is solid, full of great dialogue and thick symbolism. The characters all fully developed and never one-sided. Each has their dark side. A commendable effort to Emmy winner, Mos Def, who makes us hate him when he's a good cop, and love him when he's a bad one. The reason the rating is so low is because it's hard to accept a character that is a child molester. Probably because everyone knows someone or is someone who has been sexually abused. This is a film about redemption and forgiveness--something we can all definitely agree with. It is also a story about humanity--something we all have in common.
I know this is a controversial subject and will most likely not earn Kevin Bacon - or at least the movie makers - any good points with a lot of people, but I urge people to keep an open mind. Walter - Kevin Bacon - is released after 12 years in prison for child molestation. He is trying to get back on track when he meets Vickie - Kyra Sedgwick - who makes him feel a bit better about himself. The movie portrays Walter's struggle with his past, his crime and his new life. The characters and the crime are not romanticized. The movie can even a bit abrasive as it drills down to the truth and shows you the things just as they are. I think it takes guts to portray a controversial subject like this one and I certainly think it takes guts to play a role like Walter's. Excellent performances by Kevin Bacon, Kyra Sedgwick and Mos Def.