Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Winter's Bone (2010) - Review

Directed by: Debra Granik

Written by: Debra Granik
Anne Rosellini

Based on the novel - 'Winter's Bone' by Daniel Woodrell

People who know me have to endure my persistent complaining about the town I live in, but after seeing 'Winter's Bone' I realise how much more worse it could actually be. Bleak doesn't come close. At first I found it difficult to sympathise with any of the characters, but slowly I came round to the lead, Ree (Jennifer Lawrence), whose performance is startling from beginning to end.

Ree's father has gone missing, and at the age of only 17 years, she is left to care for her younger brother and sister and her mother; who we are told is very ill but is never explained any further. The local sheriff pays Ree a visit and explains that her father is on bail but has used the family house as collateral. Her father is due in court the following week but if he fails to show then the house will be repossessed, so Ree takes it upon herself to track him down. Her search takes her into the local drugs trade of crystal meth, but every corner she turns she is told to stay away and not get involved. There is a frighteningly good performance by John Hawkes who plays Ree's uncle; Teardrop.

Although 'Winter's Bone' is cold and fallow; much like the location in which it is set (Ozarks, Missouri), there are also moments of joy and happiness which seem all the more poignant. One of the highlights is the soundtrack which features some live performances including one in a living-room with vocalist, Merideth Sisco.

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