"Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom" Albert Einstein

"A dame who knows the ropes isn't likely to get tied up." Mae West

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Winter's Bone - movie review

It is rare to see a movie about a teenage girl who is self-reliant and emotionally strong.

"There's a bunch of stuff you're gonna have to get over being scared of."
the main character, Ree, tells her little brother as she teaches him how to skin a squirrel.

For the average teenager, they choose not to do things that aren't appealing to them and run from responsibility when they have a chance. Many adults do the same, for that matter.

Winter's Bone tells the story of meth cooking, gang violence, and the effects of poverty, but not in urban areas - the hills of Missouri's Ozark Mountains.

Jennifer Lawrence gives a powerful performance as 17 year old Ree, a high school drop-out trying to raise her younger siblings, dealing with a catatonic mother, and a drug-dealing, missing father.  This is a girl who doesn't want you to feel sorry for her.  She sees what needs to be done and she does it, she sets aside her own dreams, and doesn't want handouts.
" Never ask for what ought to be offered."
The engrossing story is simply of Ree's search for her missing father who has skipped bail, and their home her father put up as bond is now in danger of being taken away from the family.

The supporting characters are as interesting as Ree.  Dale Dickey, who is always perfect in white-trash roles (i.e. Patti the Day Time Hooker in My Name is Earl), portrays a tough woods-woman protecting her Ozark mob leader.  John Hawkes, the mild-mannered Jewish shop owner from Deadwood, is Teardrop, Rea's mean drug-addict uncle.

Winter's Bone won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival this year.  It is available on DVD.  This is a must-see for teens and adults.


Crockhead said...

I read the book several years ago and thought it was a little overdone. Maybe this is a case where the movie is better than the book. Being a movie, I expect the gruesome scene in the book with the ice and the chainsaw is there in living color.

Catch Her in the Wry said...

crock: Actually all the violent scenes were handled delicately. The audience was only shown the results of the beating, and only the sound of the chainsaw and a view of the blades running before it entered the water. My husband and I both commented about how well the violence in the movie was protrayed without being blatant.

I think you would enjoy the movie better than the book.

white rabbit said...

Thanks for the tip, I confess I'd never heard of this. I think I'll join the National Film Theatre when I get back to London and indulge myself.

Alice said...

I read the book, saw the movie and agree wholeheartedly with all your observations.