Ray Eddy, an upstate New York trailer mom, is lured into the world of illegal immigrant smuggling. Broke after her husband takes off with the down payment for their new doublewide, Ray reluctantly teams up with Lila, a smuggler, and the two begin making runs across the frozen St. Lawrence River carrying illegal Chinese and Pakistani immigrants in the trunk of Ray's Dodge Spirit.
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At the theater I saw this in, it is under the theme of Ã¢â‚¬Å“Underplayed/OverlookedÃ¢â‚¬Â and I agree. This is a good film with a unique story about desperation. The film is just as gritty as its characters. This is a independent film and you can tell. It does not have the big production budget, but it doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t need one. The filmmaker relies on his storytelling and the performances, and they both go so well together.
The story is about a woman whose husband has left her and her two kids. She has no money and a low-paying job. She cannot get enough hours and barely has enough money for her kidÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s lunch. Her kids have to settle for orange Tang and popcorn for breakfast every day. Ray Eddy finds her husbandÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s car one day, but he is nowhere to be seen. However, she meets Lila and it is not under the best circumstances. But soon together they smuggle illegal immigrants in to the U.S. All Ray wants is to get her a new house (double-wide) for her kids. The only way to get it may be turning to smuggling for good.
The way this film is shot really digs in to the characters that are in it. It is a gritty film and no glamour shots. These characters are raw and seem to be the furthest people from Hollywood. It feels real and genuine. Melissa Leo plays Ray and she is good. Really good. I have never seen her before, but this was a breakout performance for sure. Ray and Lila represent desperation, and what mothers are willing to do for their children. Even if it means breaking the law. This film shows how some people live and their struggles of everyday life. Sometimes when an opportunity presents itself, you take it. But you may pay for the consequences later.