Frozen River

Desperation knows no borders
Desperation knows no borders


D: Courtney Hunt

Sony/Cohen Media/Off Hollywood (Heather Rae & Chip Hourihan)

USA 🇺🇸 2008

97 mins


W: Courtney Hunt

DP: Reed Morano

Ed: Kate Williams

Mus: Peter Golub & Shahzad Ali Ismaily

Melissa Leo (Ray Eddy), Misty Upham (Lila Littlewolf), Charlie McDermott (T.J. Eddy), Michael O'Keefe (Finnerty), Mark Boone, Jr. (Jacques Bruno)

Melissa Leo received a Best Actress nomination for her performance as Ray Eddy, a single mother with a poor income whose husband had left her and her two sons in debt with a real estate company. Upon finding that his car was abandoned and is being used by a Native American woman, Ray becomes drawn into the world of people trafficking, smuggling illegal immigrants across the Canada-US border on a frozen river.

It's a decent low budget piece of independent cinema, with strong acting performances and a well written screenplay (which was also nominated for an Oscar), but the film does visibly suffer from its budgetary constraints and there are a few loose ends left as the film ends. In fairness, it's easy to forgive both. A solid breakthrough for a new filmmaker and relatively unknown cast.


Misty Upham & Melissa Leo in Frozen River
Misty Upham & Melissa Leo in Frozen River