Plot – An unflinching Ozark Mountain girl hacks through dangerous social terrain as she hunts down her drug-dealing father while trying to keep her family intact – Winters Bone.
Director – Debra Granik
Released – 2010
Winter’s Bone may not be for everyone. In fact, it took me two watches to decide if I liked or disliked it. There’s no action sequence or romantic sub-plots and moments of happiness are scarce, yet Winter’s Bone remains a raw and unflinching look at life in impoverished rural America. The film’s biggest strength lies in the uniformly strong and realistic performances, but it’s a baby-faced Jennifer Lawrence in a breakout role that turns a good film into an impressive one. John Hawkes is equally capable as her brash uncle, who knows more than he is letting on.
The cinematography in Winter’s Bone is phenomenal; easily capturing the bleakness and gloom felt by those living in a part of the world. Ominous and downtrodden. The dilapidated shacks and crumbling farmhouses that populate the landscape tell their own story that this is somewhere that has not only seen better days but also, there is something rotten here, a corrupting influence that makes life hard and the people melancholy, With Lawrence’s character one of the few that’s still prepared to fight against the grain, but even she is worn down by her surroundings.
Overall, Winter’s Bone is a strong, well-developed movie that leaves you feeling positive despite its bleak subject-matter and plot. The story is deep and well thought out. It feels authentic, which allows you to be invested in Ree’s (Lawrence) journey.
If you liked: Leave No Trace, The Road, Fish Tank