Frozen River

I saw Frozen River many months ago and the story has continued to simmer to the surface of my mind. So last night I put the kids to bed, made some popcorn, and sat down to watch it again. I'm glad I did.

Ray and Lila are two minimum-wage earning mothers caught in the shadowy world of smuggling illegal immigrants across the St. Lawrence River via the Mohawk territory between Quebec and New York. Ray wants the double-wide with the decent bathtub she saved for before her husband disappeared with the money days before Christmas. Lila wants to raise the baby son her mother-in-law has taken from her. Ray's dead-end part-time job at Yankee Dollar and Lila's employment at the reservation bingo parlor are no match for the lure of cash in exchange for a quick drive across the frozen river. The two women form an uneasy partnership built on a rusting Dodge Spirit with a push-button trunk. 

It is a midwinter story of desperate circumstances, but the remainder is that of spring; reckoning and resurrection, and a thaw. Behold the miracle of mud: it may not be what you planted, but something green will grow.