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Askew Review 15

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THE WOODSMAN
. Drama. 87 minutes. Rated R. Brief nudity, sexual situations. After twelve years in prison, Walter (Kevin Bacon) tires to pull his life back together with a desperate hope of normalcy. After getting a job and meeting Vickie (Kyra Sedgwick), Walter appears to be well on his way to a happy future. However, a suspicious and aggressive police detective and fear of co-workers discovering his past haunt Walter to the point of reawakening his past.
           
The Woodsman will cause a conflict concerning what you feel for Walter as a person, not his crimes. As a criminal, you will despise him and wish him ill-will. However, Kevin Bacon plays this role with such sincerity Walter comes across as remorseful, and dare I write, likeable. Kyra Sedgwick’s role as Vickie will have you wondering why she’s with this monster, but understanding why and how she sees “something better” in and for Walter. To me, this inner turbulence is a sign of a great movie, which The Woodsman eclipses. As you may have already guessed, the acting is top notch, but so is the story, writing, and direction. The shoot locations also offer a feeling of desperation. The two scenes, one crucial to the film’s success, between Walter and Robin (
Hannah Pilkes) are intense and will have you scared to death of what may happen. The last of the two may even bring a tear to your eye (ohhh, I’m such a sensitive slob). Hannah Pilkes magnificently performs her gutsy role as Robin; a role I’m sure was difficult to accept.  Extras include director’s commentary, deleted scenes, and a short documentary. The Woodsman is such a compelling movie, I think I’ll watch it again. – Denis Sheehan

 

 

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