The Woodsman

NOTHING CAN UNDO THE PAST.

thewoodsmanWalter Rossworth (Kevin Bacon), who’s just spent 12 years in prison for molesting children, comes back to his hometown a broken man trying to create a new life. Pedophilia is a challenging subject matter for someone making their first film, but director Nicole Kassel delivers a thought-provoking, intelligent drama. Bacon has the ability to look as if he’s carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders; it’s a strong performance, a gripping portrayal of a human being who no longer can count on having rights or security and who must also battle his urges. Results are more or less believable, but also moving and very unsettling in some ways.

2004-U.S. 87 min. Color. Produced by Lee Daniels. Directed by Nicole Kassell. Screenplay: Nicole Kassell, Steven Fechter. Play: Steven Fechter. Cast: Kevin Bacon (Walter Rossworth), Kyra Sedgwick (Vicki), Eve (Mary-Kay), Mos Def, David Alan Grier, Benjamin Bratt… Michael Shannon.

Trivia: Bacon also co-executive-produced the film; he and Sedgwick are married in real life.

Last word: “In general, this is not a pleasant place to go to work every day, to be in this guy’s skin, for [Sedgwick] to be in the skin of that character carrying around a lot of shame and a lot of hurt. And certainly it’s just not fun. But acting is exhilarating in a lot of ways. When you feel like you’ve done a good job, when you feel like you’ve connected to something emotional. That’s why we do it. But people have asked me if it was hard for me, or us, to shake it off and I realized that it’s not so much the ‘shaking off’ that’s hard. It’s the knowing that you’ve gotta go back down in it the next day.” (Bacon, About.com)

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