North Country (2005) - Synopsis
When Josey Aimes (Academy Award winner CHARLIZE THERON) returns to her hometown in Northern Minnesota after a failed marriage, she needs a good job. A single mother with two children to support, she turns to the predominant source of employment in the region the iron mines.
The mines provide a livelihood that has sustained a community for generations. The work is hard but the pay is good and friendships that form on the job extend into everyday life, bonding families and neighborhoods with a common thread.
It’s an industry long dominated by men, in a place unaccustomed to change.
Encouraged by her old friend Glory (Academy Award winner FRANCES McDORMAND), one of the few female miners in town, Josey joins the ranks of those laboring to blast ore from rock in the gaping quarries. She is prepared for the back-breaking and often dangerous work, but coping with the harassment she and the other female miners encounter from their male coworkers proves far more challenging.
Times are tough. The last thing the miners want is women competing for scarce jobs women who, in their estimation, have no business driving trucks and hauling rock anyway. If these newcomers want to work the mines they’ll have to do it on the terms set by the veteran workforce and it won’t be easy. Take it or leave it.
When Josey speaks out against the treatment she and her fellow workers face she is met with resistance not only from those in power but from a community that doesn’t want to hear the truth, her disapproving parents and many of her own colleagues who fear she is only making things worse. In time, even her friendship with Glory will be tested, her already difficult connection with her father, a lifelong miner, will be pushed to its limit and elements of her personal life exposed to scrutiny. The fallout from Josey’s battle to make a better future for herself and her children will affect every aspect of her life, including her relationship with her young daughter and her sensitive teenage son, who must first cope with the embarrassment of his mother’s sudden notoriety and then face harsh details of her past she was hoping he would never have to know.
Through these struggles Josey will find the courage to stand up for what she believes in even if that means standing alone.
Inspired by a true story, North Country follows Josey’s journey on a road that will take her farther than she ever imagined, ultimately inspiring countless others, and leading to the nation’s first-ever class action lawsuit for sexual harassment.
Warner Bros. Pictures presents, in association with Participant Productions, a Nick Wechsler Production of a Niki Caro Film: Charlize Theron and Frances McDormand star in North Country, also starring Sean Bean, Richard Jenkins, Jeremy Renner, Michelle Monaghan, with Woody Harrelson and Sissy Spacek. North Country is directed by Niki Caro and produced by Nick Wechsler, from a screenplay by Michael Seitzman, inspired by the book titled Class Action: The Landmark Case That Changed Sexual Harassment Law, by Clara Bingham and Laura Leedy Gansler. Helen Bartlett, Nana Greenwald, Doug Claybourne and Jeff Skoll are executive producers. Chris Menges is the director of photography; Richard Hoover, the production designer; and David Coulson, film editor. Music by Gustavo Santaolalla. North Country will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.