Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Movie Review- Winter's Bone

We're getting around that time when initial buzz begins floating around on which films could be the Oscar nominees for this year and I think its safe to say that Winter's Bone will show up in a few categories. The DVD was released a few weeks back and I got it in my mailbox from Netflix pretty quickly. I guess not too many folks had it saved on their queue list, not that I'm surprised by this. This film is going to be one of those independent films that relies on award show buzz to get viewers. I knew of this film cause I'm a geek for dark, gritty movies with strong female leads so that's why I had it saved pretty early on. We'll here is my review.

The movie is about a 17-year old girl named Ree Dolly who lives with her sick, depressed mother, her 6-year old sister, and 12-year old brother in the poor, rural Ozark mountains in Missouri. Ree takes on the huge responsibility of caring for her entire family. Her father, who is a known drug dealer and Meth cooker, has been missing for awhile. One day, the sheriff comes to her place and explains that her father needs to show up for court prompting Ree to starts asking around town regarding the whereabouts of her father. She goes to her uncle, Teardrop, and the rest of her father's druggie gang which is headed by a man named Thump Milton. When Ree starts poking around, she is told off with harsh threats and is warned to stay away and out of their business. Ree's uncle, Teardrop, explains to her that he is most likely dead, probably killed. After Ree's father fails to show up for court, the sheriff tells Ree that her and the rest of her family will be thrown out of their property soon because Ree's father offered their entire property as collateral for his bail. Desperate to keep her family from being thrown out into the mountains, Ree continues searching for her father at the risk of her own life. The audience soon gets a better look at the grim, dark reality of this poor, rural society.

Sometimes when I take road trips with my friends and we're driving through mountains, I like to laugh about the "mountain people" who live up there. We'll after seeing this movie, I don't find anything about living in the mountains funny at all. In this sort of small, poverty stricken, American society, everybody seems to be related to everyone and they are governed by very strict societal rules. The women are second class next to their men; they are completely dedicated to their husbands and are always there to stand beside them in what they do. A lot of the women in the movie looked just downright scary and the men were just violent and/or drunk. The town has an enforce a hush hush rule regarding the Meth business that goes on so you can imagine the stir that was caused when Ree began poking her nose around. The teenage girl began meddling in a business composed of older, violent men who aren't sympathetic to her feat.

I thought Jennifer Lawrence, the actress who played the film's heroine Ree, did an outstanding job. She turned her character Ree into someone who was believable. Her character was a strong, determined young woman who was forced to grow up fast and is willing to stop at nothing to save her family. Tough character to pull off but Miss Lawrence managed to do it. I pretty positive we can expect to see her nominated for Best Actress for the Oscars this year. Also kudos to director Debra Granik! I'm hoping she'll be this years Katheryn Bigalow and help studios turn more attention towards female directors. The cinematography was very blue and dim- it made you feel the chilly bite of the mountainous region. The film's pace is tense, yet very subtle, which I like. Some people may find it to be slow and boring, but for all the film geeks out there, this one is definitely worth checking out.

Final Score- 9/10

No comments:

Post a Comment