Wonderfully chameleonic actress Janet McTeer ("The King Is Alive," "Tumbleweeds") gives another of her distinctive and deeply immersed performances in "Songcatcher" as a priggish 1900s music scholar.

A terse, obstinate, overeducated woman who is deeply resentful at having been passed up for a promotion to full professor at her university (in favor of a man), she abandons civilization for a spell to visit her sister (Jane Adams), a teacher at a very remote one-room school in the Appalachian Mountains.

McTeer's intense and austere performance serves the story well as her character makes the discovery of her professional life while reluctantly roughing it with the rustic locals: The isolated society of struggling mountain people has preserved, intact, for hundreds of years the Scots-Irish folk songs carried to the New World by their ancestors.

Continue reading: Songcatcher Review