Winter’s Bone (2010) (R)
Director: Debra Granik
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, John Hawks, Gareth Dillahunt.
Producers: Anne Rosellini, Alix Madigan
Screenwriter: Debra Granik, Anne Rosellini. Based on the novel by Daniel Woodrell.
Synopsis: Ree Dolly (Jennifer Lawrence) is the caregiver of her mentally sick mother and a surrogate mother to her twelve year old brother and six year old sister. When her father due to be in court in a week suddenly disappears after he without sanction, put their land and house as collateral. Ree is determined to find him before the bond is forfeited and her family is be forced “out into the woods by the authorities (Garret Dillahunt). As she embarks on this journey she quickly realises that there is a lot more to the fathers disappearance than meets the eye, and just because you share blood with someone does not make tham loyal to you.
Debra Granik’s Winter Bone is a tough southern gothic classic set in the woods of Missouri’s Ozark Mountains. The story which is framed in a tough, raw, crime-widden community complete with the its rotten tin roof homes, laundry clothesline ands stray dogs, demands your undivided attention from the start. The film is an adaptation of a 2006 book by Daniel Woodrall and won the prize for best American drama at Sundance. Granik focuses on a poor as dirt, tough as nails Ree Dolly who’s played by Jennifer Lawrence, a strong willed seventeen year old girl who cares for her physically present but mentally absent mother and who is also raising her the younger bother and sister while her father is in prison, sets out to find her father when she is confronted with the new that her father, out on parole had put out there home and land for bail and subsequently vanished. Undaunted she is determined to find him dead or alive in other to keep a roof over her dependants.
This was the very first film I noticed Lawrence in and if you have seen it you know why. She was captivating, playing Ree so skilfully that she effortlessly draws you into her (Ree) world and you cannot help but you dissolve into it, experiencing her life as she lives it out there on the big screen. This was considered Jennifer Lawrence’s breakout role and rightly so.
This bleak film which lasted 90 min felt at times a bit too tensive to watch Granik however, masterfully explores Ree’s tough tantiouns quality agaist her mothering compassionate instinct which somehow balances the movie giving it enough textures, allowing the audience to breathe. Granik puts you in this drug-dealing, grizzly world where your unsure of little more than the brave determined twinkle dead-set in the eyes of the protagonist.
This socially conscious film catches you in the gut holds you there for the entirety of the movie, and even after it over you’re were left knowing that this is something that would stay with you. And Debra Granik you never forget, a name you look out for.
8.7 out of 10 Stars.
Winter Bone’s Trailer: