Watch Frozen River
- 1 hr 37 min
The film is set in the North Country of Upstate New York, near the St. Regis Mohawk Reservation and the Canadian border, shortly before Christmas. Ray Eddy is a discount store clerk struggling to raise two sons with her husband, a compulsive gambler who has disappeared with the funds she had earmarked to finance the purchase of a double-wide mobile home. While searching for him, she encounters Lila Littlewolf, a Mohawk bingo parlor employee who is driving his car, which she claims she found abandoned with the keys in the ignition at the local bus station. The two women, who have fallen on hard economic times, form a desperate and uneasy alliance and begin trafficking illegal immigrants from Canada into the United States across the frozen St. Lawrence River for $1200 each per crossing. Ray's older son T.J. wants to find a job and help support the family so they can afford to eat something more substantial than popcorn and Tang. He and his mother clash over whether he should remain in high school and look after his little brother Ricky or drop out to work. Lila longs for the day she will be able to reclaim and live with her young son, who was taken from her by her mother-in-law immediately after his birth. Because the women's route takes them from an Indian reservation in the US to an Indian reserve in Canada, they hope to avoid detection by local law enforcement. However, their problems escalate when they are asked to smuggle a Pakistani couple and Ray, fearful their duffel bag might contain explosives, leaves it behind in sub-freezing temperatures, only to discover it contained their infant baby when they arrive at their destination. She and Lila retrace their route and find the bag and the baby, which Lila insists is dead, but he revives moments before being reunited with his parents. The experience leaves her shaken and she announces she no longer wants to participate in the smuggling operation. But Ray, needing just one more crossing to finance the final payment on her mobile home, coerces her into joining her for one last journey, a decision both will come to regret.