The Woodsman

A very slow movie but a good one nonetheless. A good majority of movie watchers will be put off by the subject material and will probably just pass it by on the shelf or become violently ill when watching it. The Wif was cringing throughout several scenes as we watched it.

I’ll tell ya what though, what a great performance by Kevin Bacon as Walter, an (this will probably get some referrals from Google) ex-convict who has spent 12 years in prison for molestation charges. The two girls he is charged with molesting were in their early teens and he paints a picture of a man who is battling his inner demons and temptations, all the while trying to maintain an adult (and HEALTHY) relationship with a coworker, played by his real-life wife Kyra Sedgewick.

The cast includes David Alan Grier in a serious role (he’s in less than 5 scenes but who woulda thunk he could act seriously? Not me!) He does a great job as Walter’s boss and puts on a good no-nonsense face even after Walter’s true identity is ousted by another surprise face, rap star Eve.

Eve plays the office secretary, Mary Kay, whose curiousity gets the better of her and she discovers what Walter has gone to prison for. Her reaction and subsequent actions would be pretty commonplace I honestly think. It’s unfortunate for Walter, but his crimes (especially of this nature, even hated by those behind prison walls) have a way of haunting the remainder of his life.

Mos Def as a police Sergeant who visits Walter and tells him that he’s got his eye on him is another great performance. Where did Mos Def come from anyway? Never heard of the guy but now he’s all over the map! The Italian Job, that movie with Alan Rickman, and now this. He’s doing pretty well.

Although I mentioned how a lot of people will be put off by the subject material, it’s amazing to me that you can feel sympathy for Walter’s character after what he has done. What was even more amazing was that after Kyra Sedgewick’s Vickie asks him why he went to prison and he tells her, she laughs. She laughs, he does not. He tells her to leave and his crimes are not of a joking matter.

I had read in some reviews that the final scene was quite well. It was, trust me. As Walter talks to a young girl and begins to succumb to his temptations (one of the scenes where the Wif just kept cringing), he realizes that she is a victim herself of another of his “kind” and it turns his stomach. The scene was amazing, just for the 5 minutes or so that it lasted. Very jaw-dropping. Great acting on both parts, Kevin Bacon and the girl, Hanna Pilkes.

Don’t worry, I haven’t given too much up. There’s a couple other subplots that are dealt with. Keep an eye on “Candy” during the final scene with him and you’ll see Walter facing his demons again. Very interesting.

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