Sunday, February 6, 2011

Winter's Bone

Movie name: Winter's Bone
Year of release: 2010
Director: Debra Granik
Stars:Jennifer Lawrence, John Hawkes, Sheryl Lee, Garret Dillahunt, Lauren Sweetser, Dale Dickey, Tate Taylor
Genre: Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 7

Debra Granik's second film, "Winter's Bone" has been collecting accolades since it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January of 2010. With 4 Oscar nominations the film has definitely achieved a critical acclaim that is certain to continue propelling her career forward.
The film follows the story of Ree, a teenage girl who lives with her mom and her two young siblings, in the remote area of the Ozarks. Ree's life suddenly changes when she's given notice that her father has placed their house and property as collateral for his bail, and that since he hasn't shown up for his hearing, her family is going to be evicted. Ree sets upon herself to find her father, trying to ask the unfriendly neighbors and family his whereabouts.
Debra Granik has chosen with "Winter's Bone" to track the life in the Ozarks, a remote area, where life is extremely difficult and where everyone is very closed up in terms of their social interactions. Ree, having grown up in that area, knows the difficulties she will have to encounter in order to get the answers she needs. Her mission is a difficult one, since her mother isn't capable of assisting her and her uncle is unwilling to provide much assistance, and is to a certain extend a menacing figure in the community. The young woman's resilience and her despair in not losing her family keep pushing her forward trying to find answers, placing her in danger, something that is emphasized by the people and by the location itself. Debra Granik chose to cast unknown actors and it pays off. Jennifer Lawrence is fantastic as the stoic Ree, as is John Hawkes as Teardrop. They give the film it's heart and edge. A good film worth watching.