Winter’s Bone—Movie

Winter’s Bone, the Grand Jury prize winner at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, is compelling on several fronts.  First is the story—the coming of age tale of one girl’s sheer grit, determination and courage. Second is the setting–the Missouri Ozarks, a place unlike any other in America. In many respects, the Ozarks serve as the most important character in the film.

Written by Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini, and directed by Granik(screenplay), Winter’s Bone is the story of 17 year-old Ree Dolly (Jennifer Lawrence), single-handily taking care of her disabled mother and younger brother and sister. Her father  has jumped bail and gone missing. Unless he’s found and brought back for trial or can be proved dead, the family’s home will be lost and they will be out in the cold.

Ree embarks on a search for her father among relatives and acquaintances. This isn’t as easy as it sounds. The Ozarks’ residents live by their own rules…a code of silence…men have the power and the women are their protectors.  Breaking down those barriers is both daunting and dangerous.

Newcomer Lawrence turns in a star-making performance. As her character encounters every obstacle imaginable, both physical and emotional, she manages to convey youthful exuberance with the soul of an 80 year-old.  The supporting cast also provides terrific performances, most notably John Hawkes, as her uncle, Teardrop, who reluctantly helps Ree in her search.

Most of us have never been to the Missouri Ozarks, but visiting them in Winter’s Bone is worth the trip.

4 nuggets out of 4

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