The Woodsman is not a story for the faint of heart. The content is disturbing to say the least… it is a story of a convicted pedophile that has a “thing” for young girls. The story is actually much more then that… it has a strong focus on the inner demons that the pedophile faces in attempt to clean up his life.
After being released from a 12-year prison sentence, Walter Rossworth (Kevin Bacon) tries to re-enter society by getting a job at a lumberyard, and moving into his own apartment (coincident…lly across the street from an elementary school). He meets a woman (played by Bacon’s real-life wife Kyra Sedgwick), and his life starts to show some promise – a new relationship, a decent job, and a new chance at life.
All starts going down-south at the moment that his dark past is discovered by his co-workers. Rossworth starts to fight with personal demons, and even makes an attempt to assault a young girl in a park. This is the turning-point, when this girl makes Rossworth finally see the effects that his behavior has on children – he discovers that the girl has previously been molested by her father.
This is a very powerful story, with a marvelous performance by Kevin Bacon in the lead role. It is unfortunate that more people will not have a chance to see his performance – many people will avoid this film due to its touchy subject matter.
The 1.85:1 anamorphic presentation cannot be described as a clean transfer; but this is a much to do with the cinematography as it does the transfer. The gritty look of the film does not lend itself to a pristine image on DVD. The colors are accurate, and the overall look works with the content. There is some noticeable grain throughout, but it is not overly distracting. This will never be a reference disc, but it does the job.
This is a very dialog driven film, so it was surprising to see both DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 audio tracks on this disc. The score really fills the surround soundstage, and does a wonderful job in creating the films tone. Both DTS and DD tracks are equally good… with only a minor edge going towards the DTS track. The fine audio tracks were not really needed for this film, but were a welcome addition.
This disc includes a few notable extras: an audio commentary by director Nicole Kassell that is informative yet a touch dry; one deleted and two extended scenes; a good little 4-minute making-of featurette entitled “Getting It Made” that focuses on producer Lee Daniels; and a collection of trailers.
This film will not be for everyone, but those who can stomach the content will realize that this is an interesting film with strong acting performances. The video and extras are adequate, and the audio is surprisingly good. This disc is worth a spin.
Special Features List
- Audio Commentary
- Deleted Scenes
- Making-Of Featurette