...Not the kind of wheel you fall asleep at...

Oscar-Material My Ass

Every so often, I find myself amazed that a movie slipped out of the grubby made-for-tv-movie hands of the women's network and made it to the big screen, and North Country was most certainly one of those moments.

Spoilers abound this entry, so if you haven't seen North Country already but have been wanting to, you may wanna stear clear. Otherwise... Full speed ahead.

It's been a while since I've seen a serious drama where I've actually had to really work at not getting the giggles throughout it. But North Country was most definitely a success in that department. And thankfully, I was not the only one who felt this way when we watched it Saturday night.

Perhaps its intentions were good, but my god--I mean, it's not bad enough that the main character is being sexually harassed at work, but she also a) was raped by her high school teacher back when she was just 16 *AND* b) has a best friend who has just been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease. Oh, and yeah, she was also a battered wife. I mean, come on! I don't mean to be callous, especially if some of these events actually *are* part of the true story. But is this plot-line not the fricking template of any and all made-for-tv movies on Oh and the Women's Network?

What most bothered me about this movie (and what most of that garbage on the women's network also falls prey to) is the fact that it's not even clear about its own politics--even as it's attempting to rile up women into a sense of "sisterhood," it's misguidedly undercutting its own message. The court-case scenes are clearly trying to send the message that it's "just not right to pull a woman's sexual history into a court-case about sexual harassment." And yet, the climactic scene of the movie is when the main character's primary harasser finally caves on the stand and admits that he was witness to her rape back in high school. Only then, only once it is revealed that she wasn't just some promiscuous 16-year old, only when she is revealed as "victim" and not "slut" do all her supporters decide to stand up one by one in the courtroom in a melodramatic display of support.

Um, hello? Aren't we contradicting ourselves here?

I mean, with these climactic moments, the movie's ultimate misguided message becomes (despite all its attempts otherwise) you aren't deserving of support from folks if you're a woman who likes to shag and shag many partners--only after it's been revealed that you've been RAPED and are a VICTIM will people stand up for you.

Yeah, that rocks.

Empowerment central!

*Clanking my Lou Gehrig-crippled hand against the wall in support*



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