The January/February calendar months are generally the time when some of the worst movies come out. They are the movies that are not the big blockbusters or Oscar nominees of the Fall holiday season nor are they the blockbusters of the Summer. In my opinion the movie The Woodsman does not follow this general rule. The Woodsman comes out this or next Friday but I was lucky enough to see a preview screening courtesy of Cinema Seattle/Seattle International Film Festival and the distributors Newmarket Films. The movie is based on a play by the same name and was directed by Nicole Kassell.
It stars Kevin Bacon, who also executive produced it, as a convicted sex offender for child molestation that has just released from prison after a 12 year sentence. Interestingly enough he moved into an apartment across the street from an elementary school which becomes a struggling place for him to live. The movie focuses on his attempts to deal with his demons and how he tries to be “normal” again. At the lumber yard he works at he quickly gets together with Kyra Sedgwick (his long time wife in real life) who plays a strong independent woman, who also has some demons of her own. The drama is really good. The film is shot in more of an independent, film festival style and in that I mean it just not look as polished as a big budget film and I think it works for the film in that the focus is really on the story and characters. Benjamin Bratt does a good job as Bacon’s brother-in-law. Mos Def plays a cop, acting more like a parole officer making sure that Bacon stays on the straight and narrow. Another musician, Eve, has a small part as a secretary working in the lumbar yard. David Alan Grier has a small role, playing a serious part, in the boss at the lumber yard.
Overall I thought the movie was good. Kevin and Kyra did a good job. I actually like their acting better than the last movie they did together; Cavedweller which came out earlier this year and is currently playing on Showtime cable. This is not a mainstream kind of movie but the story is compelling. I also like the musical score in the movie. I cannot say run out in see it but keep it in the back of your mind as something to check out, even if you wait to see it on cable TV or rent it at some later date.