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North Country (Widescreen Edition)

4.4 out of 5 stars 231 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

North Country (DVD) (WS)

Academy Award winner Charlize Theron (Monster) teams with Niki Caro, theaward-winning screenwriter and director of Whale Rider, for thisfictionalized version of the first successful legal prosecution of asexual-harassment case in the United States.After fleeing from her abusive husband, young mother Josey Aimes(Theron) returns home to Minnesota, where she finds work in the ironmines. Josey refuses to endure the frequent sexual innuendoes andunwelcome physical contact that her male co-workers inflict on thewomen. When her complaints to the mine owners fall on deaf ears, Joseyseeks a legal remedy, becoming the key plaintiff in a class actionlawsuit that leads to the first sexual harassment ruling in UnitedStates judicial history.



A sterling cast and vivid direction give North Country an emotional heft to match its political convictions. Charlize Theron (Monster) plays Josey Aimes, who goes to work at a Minnesota steel mine after splitting with her violent husband.

Frances McDormand and Charlize
Theron in North Country.
But the job proves to be almost as harrowing as her marriage; the male miners, resentful of women taking jobs, verbally abuse and play humiliating pranks on the female miners. After being physically assaulted by a coworker, Josey tries to fight against the harassment, but none of the other women will join her case for fear that things will only get worse. North Country, directed by Niki Caro (Whale Rider), makes the women's experience palpable for the audience without overdoing it. But the lawsuit is only part of the movie; the gut impact of North Country comes from the devastating effect the lawsuit has on Josey's family, friends, and coworkers--thanks to an incredible ensemble cast that includes Sissy Spacek (In the Bedroom), Sean Bean (Lord of the Rings), Richard Jenkins (Six Feet Under), Woody Harrelson (The People vs. Larry Flynt), and the always powerful Frances McDormand (Fargo, Mississippi Burning). The courtroom histrionics don't always ring true, but the family conflict is riveting and deeply moving. Based on the book Class Action: The Story of Lois Jenson and the Landmark Case That Changed Sexual Harassment Law. --Bret Fetzer

Special Features

  • Additional scenes
  • Making-of documentary: "Stories from the North Country"
  • Theatrical trailer

Product Details

  • Actors: Charlize Theron, Frances McDormand, Sean Bean, Richard Jenkins, Jeremy Renner
  • Directors: Niki Caro
  • Writers: Michael Seitzman
  • Producers: Nick Wechsler, Helen Buck Bartlett, Nana Greenwald, Doug Claybourne, Jeff Skoll
  • Format: Dolby, Closed-captioned, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: August 29, 2006
  • Run Time: 126 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (231 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000CQLZ8S
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,755 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "North Country (Widescreen Edition)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Joe Sherry on October 24, 2005
I really hate the tagline of North Country. "All she wanted to do was make a living. Instead she made history." It's terrible and doesn't at all capture what North Country is. Well, I suppose on one hand it does because that ultimately is the storyline of the movie but it's a tagline that makes me want to run away rather than buy a ticket. But enough about that.

North Country is based on actual events at the Eveleth Mines in Minnesota's Iron Range. Women were first allowed into the mines in the late 1970's and the stories that North Country deals with occurred all throughout the 80's and into the first class action sexual harassment lawsuit in the early 1990's. Director Niki Caro (Whale Rider) spoke with some of the women miners and had one, Lynn Sterle as an advisor for the film.

Charlize Theron plays Josey Aimes, a fictionalized character who comes to work at the Pearson Taconite mine where her father works and where her friend Glory (Frances McDormand) works driving truck. Josey is trying to raise her two children after leaving her husband and the mine will pay six times what she was making elsewhere. Glory tells her that Josey is going to have to deal with taunts and crude behavior and that the men do not want them at the mine. She believes, but she doesn't know. From the first moment she steps foot into the mine it becomes clear just how little they are wanted. The HR representative tells the new women that he doesn't want them there and if it wasn't for the Supreme Court, he wouldn't have hired them. But he'll give them a tour anyway and show them what the work is. The other workers call them crude names and Glory warns Josey that she may find degrading things in their lunch pails. Names are written on walls and lewd drawings are made.
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In the tradition of 'Norma Rae', 'Silkwood', and 'Erin Brockovich' comes a movie which is entertaining, action-packed, and muckraking all in one. Michael Seitzman tells the real-life story of Lois Jenson (Charlize Theron). Jenson encouraged her female co-workers to collectively protest their workplace harassment.

The newly divorced single mother had returned to her Minnesota hometown looking for a way to support her family (Sammy and Karen). Upon the recommendation of an old friend Glory (Frances McDormand) she becomes a miner. The hardest challenges at the new job did not come from the physical labor however. Instead they were from some of the male miners because those individuals became threatened by their new colleagues.

Incidentally, these men are led by Bobby Sharp (played by Jeremy Renner) who used to date Josey in high school.

After being sexually harassed on the job, Josey Aimes (a composite sketch of Lois Jenson) files a lawsuit against the Eveleth Mines and rallies some other female co-workers to her cause. These women face every conceivable odd against them in a modern "David vs. Goliath" epic. As the 'ringleader' of the protesting women, Aimes inevitably takes the brunt of it.

Her crusade draws disapproval from many people in the town and many of her own colleagues at the mine. Her own parents Alice and Hank Aimes (Sissy Spacek and Richard Jenkins) just want Josey to accept things as they have been. Adding insult to injury, her own personal life is put under intensive scrutiny; what 'kind' of woman charges sexual harassment? Even Glory encourages her to let their mistreatment go.

Yet, she perseveres and the women are victorious. In Jenson vs.
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NORTH COUNTRY is as chilling a story as the climate of northern Minnesota. We are told this movie is based on a true story--a landmark sexual harassment case that revolutionized corporate policy pertaining to gender equality nationwide. Disgusted and put out with the relentless, abusive, even violent treatment by her male coworkers (and superiors) in the male-dominated ore mining industry, single mom Josey Aimes (played wonderfully by Charlize Theron) dares to rock the boat by filing a lawsuit against her employer. It's a story that's been told a million times before--of one individual fighting fearlessly, even futilely, against the insurmountable odds of the corrupt status quo--yet NORTH COUNTRY succeeds admirably by virtue of its stellar cast and compelling plot.

Returning to her hometown after her marriage goes on the fritz, Josey dares to seek employment at the local strip mine, where the work is brutal, but the working conditions even more so. Her best friend, Glory (Frances McDormand), is a coworker--even the sole female union rep; Glory advises Josey to go with the flow, let the crude comments and sick jokes roll off one's back, but in due time, the "jokes" become malevolent, the pranks vicious, the work environment dangerous, intolerable. Josey files a grievance with the president of the company; his response is to pressure her to tender her resignation. Convinced she is "in the right," that she must fight, Josey enlists the aid of local attorney Bill White (Woody Harrelson, who in middle age has become magnificently bulldog ugly), and the first-ever class action sexual harassment suit is filed. The subsequent courtroom drama is uneven, often off topic (having to deal with an alleged rape in Josey's past), yet still riveting.
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