Her family home in danger of being repossessed after her dad skips bail and disappears, Ozark teen Ree Dolly (Jennifer Lawrence) breaks the local code of conduct by confronting her kin about their conspiracy of silence. Should she fail to track her father down, Ree Dolly, her younger siblings, and their disabled mother will soon be rendered homeless.
You can tell by the Title that this is going to be Cold and Hard. Add to that, Bleak, Despairing, Ruthless, and Sneering. There is Barely a Smile in this Study of the Backwoods with its Hypocrisy of Clannish Detachment. It is a Chilling Atmosphere that is Void of Sunshine and has Very Little to Offer in the Form of Empathy.
Outstanding Performances Inhabit this Unyielding Environment that is Captured by the Camera with its Unforgiving Truthfulness. There isn't much to Uplift the Spirit in the Film or the Audience. it is Realism through the Prism of Unflattering Faces and Unclean Milieus. It is a Slice of Life Without Spice.
When Our Heroine is asked by Her Uncle, offering Methamphetamine, "Have you gotten a taste for it yet?", She answers "Not so far." When She is skinning a Squirrel and Discards the Guts, Her little Brother asks, "Are we going to eat those?" She answers "Not yet."
This Demonstrates just how close to Total Surrender and Defeat things are. She is 17 and is Forced into a Situation beyond Her Years. She is Virtually Alone, on Her Own with Two Young Siblings Hanging in the Balance. This all is Interwoven with sort of a Mystery, but that is not what is going on Here. It is not so much a Story as it is a Reflection of Resolve and a Test of the Human Condition.
This one is not for Everyone and is an Independent Film that Tries Hard not to be Artsy but it is Despite Itself. The Characters, Dialog, Environment, and Story are Nothing if Not Beautifully Barren Americana.
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