Director Niki Caro is a female protagonist's best friend. In Whale Rider, Caro received widespread acclaim for her story about a determined young girl's struggle to break down traditional male stereotypes and take the throne of her land. Caro's follow-up is North Country, where she teams up with one of today's strongest female leads to tell the story that precipitated the groundbreaking laws protecting women against sexual harassment in the workplace.

Inspired by true events during the late 1980s at a Northern Minnesota iron mine, Country focuses on Josey Aimes (Charlize Theron), a recently separated young mother who has returned to her hometown to reassemble her life. But Josey's return does not sit well with the locals. They call her a slut, a whore, and whisper wisecracks about her two children born out of wedlock. Even Josey's father Hank (Richard Jenkins) resents her return, saying she has brought nothing but shame to the family.

Continue reading: North Country Review