After moving with her mother to a small town, a teenager finds that an accident happened in the house at the end of the street. Things get more complicated when she befriends a boy who was the only survivor of the accident.
Kathryn Vale (Lena Olin) is a reclusive ex-movie star with a dark secret and a daughter hoping to follow in her mother's movie-star footsteps. When Kathryn attempts to make a career ... See full summary »
After a stint in a mental institution, former teacher Pat Solitano moves back in with his parents and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife. Things get more challenging when Pat meets Tiffany, a mysterious girl with problems of her own.
David O. Russell
Robert De Niro
Are you young, sexually confused, just trying to get by? Do you sing, dance or possess some other talent? Welcome to the Garden Party. At the center of the story is 15-year-old April. She ... See full summary »
With an absent father and a withdrawn and depressed mother, 17 year-old Ree Dolly keeps her family together in a dirt poor rural area. She's taken aback however when the local Sheriff tells her that her father put up their house as collateral for his bail and unless he shows up for his trial in a week's time, they will lose it all. She knows her father is involved in the local drug trade and manufactures crystal meth, but everywhere she goes the message is the same: stay out of it and stop poking your nose in other people's business. She refuses to listen, even after her father's brother, Teardrop, tells her he's probably been killed. She pushes on, putting her own life in danger, for the sake of her family until the truth, or enough of it, is revealed. Written by
Jennifer Lawrence was originally turned down for the role of Ree for being "too pretty." She flew overnight into New York City, walked 13 blocks in the sleet to the casting office, and auditioned with a runny nose and hair she hadn't washed in a week. Lawrence won the role, and ultimately, her first Academy Award nomination (for Best Actress) at 20 years old. See more »
FLIPPED SHOT: When the sheriff first talks to Ree, the neighbor walks past a truck to eavesdrop. The truck's logo and license plate are reversed, as if in a mirror. See more »
Winter's Bone (2010), co-written and directed by Debra Granik, is this year's must-see movie. Jennifer Lawrence plays Ree Dolly, a young woman who has had to grow up fast. She has two younger siblings to care for. Her father is missing, and her mother is an invalid. Ree is keeping the family together in their home in a remote corner of the Missouri Ozarks.
When the film opens, the key plot points are set out for Ree and for us. Her father was arrested, and then released on bail. He's put up the family's house and land in order to obtain his release. Now that he's gone, the house and land will belong to the bond company. Realistically, Ree has to find him or the family will be destroyed.
Into the mix comes Ree's uncle, called Teardrop, portrayed by John Hawkes. He has a frightening presence. Everyone respects the potential for deadly violence that Teardrop represents--the local sheriff, Ree, and the hard-bitten meth producers who inhabit the region.
This is a film that is better seen than described in a review. The acting is incredible without exception, but Lawrence and Hawkes are extraordinary. We saw this film at the Rochester 360-365 Film Festival, but it's now in commercial release. It's a tense, taut movie that takes place in small, tight places, even when the scene is shot outdoors, so it will work on DVD.
Seek it out and see it!
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