With an absent father and a withdrawn and depressed mother, 17 year-old Ree Dolly keeps her family together in a dirt poor rural area.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
Watching this film the first time you will see one of the most accessible, compelling, and almost entirely straight narrative films this year. As a film snob, I tend to like them more visually challenging and time bending. Nonetheless, I was entirely blown away in my first viewing and simply could not get this movie out of my mind for the rest of the film festival I was attending.
In quiet repose, the vapor trails coalesce around two things when you try to explain Winter's Bone to others. From the view of genre it goes everywhere: mystery, noir in gray tones, gangster, thriller, almost horror and a brilliant, stark family drama. Then there are the themes that rage quietly behind the scenes: hopelessness in poverty, good transcending almost demonic evil, an unbridled feminist treatise, nobility free poverty, drug culture ripping social fabric asunder, and family is your trump card for everything.
This really grasps you like a whirling dervish in a cauldron, so powerful it takes your thoughts so many places so quickly.
The source of all this is a startling story and screen rendering by one who may become a great young female director. The performances, likely coaxed by this great director, stun you silent.
Plus it contains possibly the greatest role model for the young ever put on film, performed in true star making brilliance if seen beyond the art houses where characters like me reside.
In the end, after five viewings, it stands as my favorite film seen since American Beauty, therefore placing it in my favorite ten all-time. Please see this before it shocks you when its name appears on year end awards lists.
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