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The Woodsman

146 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

After twelve years in prison, Walter moves into a small apartment across the street from an elementary school, gets a job at a lumberyard, and mostly keeps to himself. He finds unexpected solace fromVicki (Kyra Sedgwick), a tough-talking woman who promises not to judge him for his history. But Walter cannot escape his past. Shunned by his sister and living in fear of being discovered at work, Walter struggles with re-entry into society and facing his demons.


Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: Kevin Bacon, Kyra Sedgwick, David Alan Grier, Mos Def, Benjamin Bratt
  • Directors: Nicole Kassell
  • Producers: Lee Daniels
  • Format: AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    PLEASE NOTE:
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: April 12, 2005
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (146 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007PID84
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,927 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Woodsman" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

139 of 163 people found the following review helpful By J.A. VINE VOICE on January 18, 2005
As I left the theater, I thought to myself: How am I going to write this review? This movie needs to be experienced, to be felt. Then when I looked at the other reviews here on Amazon, I saw that the "experiences" were already covered in detail, so I decided that gave me some leeway.

This is a film about a pedophile, and the struggles he experiences after his release from prison, both with the people in his life and the emotions that boil inside of him. My review is going to focus mainly on the specific events involving him and his pedophilia.

Many viewers likely have difficulty separating the fiction of the movie from the reality of the horrors of child molestation, which probably explains its dismal rating (currently 5.6 out of 10) on pro.imdb.com (the professional version of the Internet Movie Database). They probably feel disgust - and they *should* feel disgust. There is no worse crime than stealing the life of a child. This film was also shunned by the Golden Globes, which means it will likely receive no nods from the Academy, which is much more conservative. That is a pity, because at the very least Kevin Bacon puts on an amazing performance deserves at least a nomination.

Walter (Bacon) is acutely aware of his disease, and he despises himself for it. One can see it in the self-hatred in his eyes, and in the gruff manner in which he treats others. The gruffness, however, probably arose from spending twelve years in prison, where even amongst criminals there is a code of honor: murder, rape, thieve all you want - just never, ever molest a child. While it's never discussed, we can assume that Walter himself was horrifically abused during those twelve years.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jasun Horsley on March 4, 2008
Format: DVD
With Kevin Bacon as a recovering pedophile, it's refreshing to see everyone's favorite "boogeyman" get a makeover and allowed ordinary human feelings, audience sympathy, and even, sort of, a happy ending. No doubt lots of people were incensed by the movie and considered it immoral because it evoked sympathy for someone who likes to have sex with pubescent girls (and even pre-pubescent, the character stipulates 10 to 12-year-olds). But it does an admirable job of telling its story first (which is really a character study, made effective by Bacon's soulful and moving performance), and making its points second. The points it makes, predictably enough, center around tolerance and compassion, and the film shows pretty persuasively how regular folk's fear and loathing of "pedophilia" (and the denial of their own propensity for it) only make the whole sticky problem worse, by refusing to even entertain the possibility of understanding.

The film dramatically illustrates the inevitable tension between the deviant and the society that rejects him, and how that tension itself gives rise to further deviance. It's the oldest folly of all, the demonization of the other in order to project all our own unacknowledged neuroses, fears, and desires onto them. But oh, it's convenient! The result is that what we fear and loath inevitably becomes more and more fearsome and loathsome the more we deny it and refuse to understand it. Because without understanding, there is no possibility of acceptance, which is the necessary prerequisite for change. If we only forgive the sinner once he has repented, what's so admirable about that? Especially when we refuse to afford him our trust and compassion and sympathy and belief that he CAN change.
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34 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 30, 2005
Well, that the film is about a pedophile has already been covered. (At least one reviewer called pedophila a "disease." Since I object to the over-use of that word, I didn't like that review much.)

Bacon plays a guy who just got out of 12 years of prison after having "molested girls," as he himself says to a young woman colleague who takes a liking to him.

Bacon's acting is spectacular. You can see he's struggling with his condition, probably asking himself why he seems driven to it. He continues to ask--of himself and his therapist, "When will I be normal?"

As a favor, he gets a job in a lumber mill. A young black woman takes a liking to him. When he doesn't return the attraction, she goes on the web and finds that he's a convicted child molestor, then exposes him as such, excusing her personal vendetta in that, "They [the other employees] need to know about him." The script cleverly fit in that some other employees were the parents of young girls whom they adored; they, of course, were the ones particulary incensed when they found out the Bacon character was a pedophile.

Later in the script, Bacon exposes his struggle to his brother in law, also the fawning father of a young daughter. The brother on law says that if Bacon even thinks of doing anything with his daughter, he'll kill him.

The sister, by the way, wouldn't even communicate with Bacon any more. She has a distant appearance at the end of the film, a symbol, in essence, that his will be a long term recovery process, of his struggle with pedophilia AND his 12 years in prison.

One of the scenes that moved me was when Bacon met a young girl in the park. She was a bird watcher.
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