Winter’s Bone (Granik, 2010)

Winter’s Bone (Debra Granik, 2010)

Shot entirely in Missouri, a mere few hours from my house (and in the hometown of my brother’s fiance), Winter’s Bone is…well…not the most flattering depiction of some of my fellow Missourians (though I’m a Kansan at heart). The film centers around a teenage girl caught in an extended family of meth dealers, forced to raise her younger brother and sister as her dad has run off and her mom an invalid. As the threat arises that they may lose their house, her only chance to save it is to locate her father.

Granik’s film does a good job of accurately portraying a sect of rough, desperate people, and the way their lives have become an endless cycle of hopelessness. Her main character, Ree, is one of the lone bright spots in her family. While still extremely rough, she has a sense of responsibility and a love that has seemingly left many of the people surrounding her. Jennifer Lawrence gives a decent performance in this role, but it’s actually the rest of the cast that stands out, especially John Hawkes as the uncle torn between where his loyalties lie. The overlaying mystery of what happened to her father and how deep it ran within the meth circles of the Ozarks was really secondary to the passion of the girl worried for her family’s well-being.

A little to my disappointment, though, was the lack of beautiful photography. I know Missouri has a lot of delightful scenery, and Granik sort of failed to capture that. I know the tone of the film is grisly, but I’ve seen many movies with a harsh tone, yet beautiful cinematography. But, overall, still a good movie.  8.25/10

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2 Responses to “Winter’s Bone (Granik, 2010)”

  1. Eric B. Says:

    Thanks for the review. I’ll have to check it out. As you know, I have been planning to watch this for some time. Unfortunately I will probably have to wait until the DVD release. Boo.

    • chrisfilm Says:

      It’s still playing at the Tivoli, and is through next week if you have a chance to get over there.

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