The Flick Chicks

Judy Thorburn's Movie Reviews

North Country

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Judy Thorburn

North Country

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Flick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil

THERON BRINGS JUSTICE TO "NORTH COUNTRY"

The younger generation today may take it for granted, but protection against on the job sexual harassment has only been in effect for a reasonably short time in our nation’s history- only since the 1980’s, when a court case set a precedent. Thanks to a brave woman who made a stand against improper behavior from her fellow male employees by suing the company she worked for, sexual harassment against either women OR men is no longer tolerated in the workplace. Hers was the first successful class action lawsuit of its kind, which resulted in a landmark ruling that has become standard employment policy.

The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil, North Country, Charlize Theron, Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Thomas Curtis, Sean Bean, Sissy Spacek, Niki Caro

North Country is “inspired” by the actual real life Jenson vs. Eveleth mines 1980’s class action lawsuit. No surprise, it was inevitable that a movie treatment was to be in the works. Movies about female whistleblowers, and their subject matter attract big numbers at the box office. Norma Rae, Silkwood, and Erin Brockavich are a few films that come to mind. All three movie leads garnered Academy Award nominations, with both Sally Field (Norma Rae) and Julia Roberts (Brockovich) going on to win the Oscar for their strong performances. Expect Charlize Theron to follow in their footsteps or at least be nominated for another unglamorous, yet superb performance following last year’s Oscar win for Monster. Here she plays Josey Aimes, a hard working, single mom of two who lives in a Minnesota mining town, a location known as the North Country.

The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil, North Country, Charlize Theron, Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Thomas Curtis, Sean Bean, Sissy Spacek, Niki Caro

Josey, after leaving the husband that beat her and moving back in with her parents, only wants to be able to go to work, do her job and make her own money to support herself and her kids. One day, as a hair washer in a beauty salon, Josey winds up with an old acquaintance in her chair, Glory (Frances McDormand, back in Fargo mode- accent wise), an employee and union rep at the local mine who tells Josey that she can make six times what she’s earning now working at the mine. When Josey takes the advice, it causes repercussions with her family and the beginning of a nightmare that she never expected.  Josey’s father Hank (Richard Jenkins) is a mine employee and doesn’t approve of his daughter taking a job there.  As far as he is concerned, Josey, who had two children out of wedlock from two different men, and now, taking a job away from a man, has brought him nothing but shame.  Mother Alice, (Sissy Spacek) is from the old school and thinks Josey should be with her husband and keeping house. And son, Sammy (Thomas Curtis) hates his mom, calling her a whore and resents the community backlash that affects him personally.

The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil, North Country, Charlize Theron, Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Thomas Curtis, Sean Bean, Sissy Spacek, Niki Caro

From day one at the plant Josey is subjected to constant harassment from most of the male co-workers who resent women sharing the same workplace. They react by doing despicable things such as yelling lewd obscenities, calling out words like bitches or whores, leaving vulgar words with feces on locker room walls, dildos in lunch boxes, semen on clothes, locking a female inside a port a pottie, and forcing the women to endure constant groping, grabbing, attempted rape and threats. Josey’s female co-workers, happy just making a decent living, grit their teeth and put up with all the crap, afraid that if they come forth they will lose their job. They see Josey as making trouble and initially refuse to back her up. To put it bluntly, the women are told, “Work hard, keep your mouth shut and take it like a man”.  Refusing to be a victim any longer after being physically attacked, Josey is forced to go to the head of the company, where she comes face to face with management and a boss who ignores her complaints and tells her to quit.

The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil, North Country, Charlize Theron, Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Thomas Curtis, Sean Bean, Sissy Spacek, Niki Caro

Woody Harrelson plays Bill White, a former hockey player turned lawyer who Josie turns to for help in suing the company for sexual harassment.  He accepts, but under one stipulation. It must be a class action suit, which means getting three or more of her female coworkers to come forward with the same complaint, which has never been done before.

The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil, North Country, Charlize Theron, Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Thomas Curtis, Sean Bean, Sissy Spacek, Niki Caro

From the get go North Country, is described as an inspired story, meaning it is a fictionalized account of the documented case and people involved. Nevertheless, director Niki Caro acclaimed for her work on the wonderful Whale Rider, captures the look and feel of the iron mines and the gritty jobs, with authentic locations and dynamite performances by Theron and every one of the supporting cast.

North Country is an absorbing story, which is not only about injustice and the fight for equal rights, but as a statement against mob mentality.  It takes only one person to stand up and make a difference.  That’s an important message, one that travels way beyond North Country.