2007. USA. Courtney Hunt. 97 min.
Thursday, January 8, 2009, 6:00 p.m.
Theater 1 (The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 1), T1
2007. USA. Directed by Courtney Hunt. In awarding Hunt the Grand Jury Prize for Drama at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, Quentin Tarantino said of her debut feature, "It put my heart in a vise and proceeded to twist that vise until the last frame." That's pretty significant praise from a filmmaker whose work is as hyperbolic as Hunt's is restrained. But like her supporter, Hunt packs a wallop. Two women in upstate New York—one recently left with two sons to raise, the other a widow on the Mohawk reservation straddling the U.S./Canadian border—need money fast, and they become unlikely, uneasy, and even unwilling partners in a perilous and illegal enterprise. In portraying women determined not go over the edge, Melissa Leo (Detective Howard on television's Homicide) and Misty Upham give exquisitely hard-edged yet vulnerable performances. A Sony Pictures Classics release. 97 min.