When I heard about Winter’s Bone, the winner of the Sundance Film Festival, I planned to see it in the theater, but never got around to it. I saw it on video last night, and it was fantastic.
It’s based on a book by Daniel Woodrell about hillbilly meth burners in Missouri, and it’s a riveting slice of life — the house trailers and the pickups and the squirrel guts.
Jennifer Lawrence gives an Oscar-level performance — flat-out brilliant — and the supporting cast is superb, right down to the toothless grandmas. Lawrence plays Ree Dolly, whose father is about to miss a court date, and he has put the family house up as bond. She has to find him or she and her little brother and sister and deranged mother will have no place to live.
She has to go through guys like Teardrop and Thump and Blond Milton, and the plot gets incredibly complicated, but the viewer never gets bored and it all adds up in the end.
This movie is so good it makes me want to read the book. And just hearing Marideth Sisco sing, that’s worth the price of admission right there.
December 23, 2010 @ 11:36 am
Wish you a Merry Christmas Steve.
January 30, 2011 @ 10:12 am
Thank you for the great review. I’ll add a link to her blog to here.
PA to Marideth Sisco
February 12, 2011 @ 12:22 am
For what it’s worth (and utterly shameless about blowing my own horn :-), this was my take on the best male actor in Winter’s Bone…
And,. DO read the book. It makes some things a bit more clear. It also has a wonderful last line that was NOT in the movie, probably because it would have clashed with the tone of the film.
March 3, 2011 @ 9:08 pm
Hey Paul in Houston! How ya doing. I am just now reading the book. I’m not sure what I expected but it’s different. I’m enjoying the fact that Debra Granik used so many lines verbatim, and that she hit the nail on the head with her capture of this young woman’s life.
While watching the movie (5 times?) I kept expecting sexual content in a derogatory way, but it didn’t happen, but you knew it existed. The book was much more harshly written. i think that is part of the tension – you’re expecting something and it doesn’t actually happen, yet it’s there.
I’m about half way through it and plan to finish it later tonight.
Once again, thanks for the review Steve,
March 9, 2011 @ 12:27 am
I’ll definitely have to read the book now. I also felt a note of sexual tension. It seemed Ree was looking at these sleazebags and saying, “Go ahead, try it. I’ll gouge your eyes out.”
Her striking beauty makes the viewer wonder what went on before when she was younger and more vulnerable. But what was brilliant about the book, the movie, and Lawrence’s performance, was that all that had not diminished her in any way. She was still a force of nature.
She reminded me of Ruby Kewes, played by Renee Zellweger, in Cold Mountain. Remember how dreary that was until Ruby showed up and showed Nicole Kidman how to make soup out of that banty rooster?
March 13, 2011 @ 9:30 pm
Yep to all of the above.