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.
While I have seen many more entertaining film and certainly more profound, I cannot remember the last time I saw a film so realistic I felt I was there.
The very realism of "Winter's Bone" undercuts its pacing and dramatic impact. The film opens slowly and my wife nearly lost interest before the story engrossed her. Perhaps given my "country cousin" roots, I was immediately taken in. As a writer I was astounded at how many times I could not predict what would happen next. Yet, every scene flows naturally into the next.
While I found some of the dialog unintelligible, the "natural sound" so accentuated the film's atmosphere I didn't care. Certainly, I had no trouble understanding all the necessary interchanges.
While all performances are "pitch perfect," Jennifer Lawrence and John Hawkes certainly deserved their Oscar nominations and numerous awards. Likewise, writer/director deserved her Oscar nomination for writing. She should have received one for directing. In any event, she is one to watch and, in my opinion, a much better director than Oscar winner Kathryn Bigelow.
There are no really "big" messages here. Nonetheless the "small" messages of humanity,community and personal honor shine like a beacon. I give "Winter's Bone" a "10".
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