Indie Gems: The Woodsman

What is your definition of normal?

Walter (Kevin Bacon) is a child molester that's been recently released from prison. He's trying to fit back into society. He argues with his shrink, (played by Michael Shannon) has trysts with a feisty co-worker, Vicki, (Kyra Sedgwick) whom he shares his deepest and darkest secret with. He tries to reason with his brother in law, Carlos (Benjamin Bratt) and is paid unexpected visits by a cop (Mos Def) who can't stand him.

Kevin Bacon has always been good at playing a complete creep, but he's at his best in The Woodsman. The film is careful not to show any actual child abuse, but we know it's always on Walter's mind. Bacon and Sedgwick, married in real life radiate chemistry together, but it's obvious that they are both tortured souls. A simple scene towards the end of the film, with Walter speaking to young Robin (Hannah Pilkes) on a park bench speaks volumes, and sums up so much in such a little amount of time. While the ending may come off as abrupt to some, it's very realistic to this situation. Does Walter ever get better? Will he relapse and end up back in prison for the rest of his life? Only time will tell.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: A-

Memorable Quote: "When am I going to be normal?" - Walter (Kevin Bacon)


  1. This sounds really disturbing, because of the subject matter, but it does sound very good. The movie probably wouldn't have worked if ti had a more conclusive ending -- sadly, the rehabilitation rate of pedophiles is extremely low.

  2. Huh. I wasn't aware that Bacon and Sedgwick are married in real life. That's interesting.

    The Woodsman is great indeed, and Bacon's performance is among the best of the decade.


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