Friday, February 25, 2011

Winter's Bone


Director: Debra Granik
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, John Hawkes

Deep in the Ozarks, a teenage girl named Ree (Lawrence) is forced to be the primary caregiver for her younger brother and sister because her father has disappeared and her mother is in a weird, incapacitated state. When the town's sheriff informs her that her father, on the run from drug charges, put their house up for bond and if he doesn't appear in a week, they will lose their house. Already barely surviving with the help of some neighbors, Ree sets out to find her Dad, and finds herself embroiled in a really bad situation.

Winter's Bone is a good movie with a good story, especially considering its small budget and resources. Jennifer Lawrence, a relative newcomer to films, gives an amazing performance as Ree, a strong girl whose dedication to her family seems to know no bounds. Her co-star, John Hawkes also gives a good performance as her uncle Teardrop, who both hinders and helps her investigation.

There actually isn't a lot to the film, except a really scary social structure in the Ozarks that will pretty much keep me away from there for life. There's nothing particularly notable about the film, which is why this review is so brief, but I really liked the simplicity of Winter's Bone. It is a dark and depressing film, both in tone and setting, but despite its somewhat derivative plot, writer-director Granik's is able to give the film freshness and some originality.

3 out of 5 stars

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