Dustin Hoffman on Melissa Leo in ‘Frozen River’

Actors champion fellow colleagues in 2008 performances

It’s funny. When you’re in the business, you can tell something in the first minutes of watching, particularly in terms of the actors. Just at the start of “Frozen River,” the first thing I saw I went, “Oh! oh!” I don’t even know the director (Courtney Hunt), but there was such a documentary feel to that performance by Melissa Leo. I don’t know Melissa Leo, but that’s an extraordinary piece of work. There’s not a false moment. I felt she knew it and lived that life. Afterward, I said, “I’m glad I didn’t do that movie.” It looked painful, all those nights in the freezing cold.

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