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Plot: An unflinching Ozark Mountain girl hacks through dangerous social terrain as she hunts down her drug-dealing father while trying to keep her family intact. Runtime: 100 mins Release Date: 16 Jul 2010
Haunting, Grim, but somehow Optimistic (by Loving_Silence)
Winter's Bone is about a 17 year old girl name Rolly Dee set out to find her father who put their house for his bailbond and then vanishes. If she doesn't find him, her family will be turned out to the Ozarks. Challenging her outlaw kin's code of silence and risking her life, Ree hacks through the lies, evasions and threats offered up by her relatives and begins to piece together the truth.Let me, just begin by saying this movie is perfectly acted. Jennifer Lawrence gives an Oscar Worthy performance as Rolly Dee. I was surprised how excellent she was, because I was sceptical of <more>
her in the "The Bill Engvall" show. But she turned me to a believer and boy, she can REALLY act. Her performance actually surpasses some of Meryl Streep's performances. Hopefully the Academy will recognize her and give an Oscar nomination or maybe even a win! The film is well directed by Debra Granik and is easily her best work yet. She definitely has potential to become the "new" Kathryn Bigelow. Anyways the film is really bleak and powerful, but it still has a tone of hopeful in it. Very interesting and mesmerizing movie to watch. It is a bit slow at times, but trust me it never gets boring or dull.10/10 Highly recommended.
Neo noir, with a twist of white trash. (by shreke2003)
This shockingly diverse film offers numerous delights to the viewer. Beginning with simple title credits, and ending in a beautiful display of foliage. Winter's Bone will grab your attention and never let go.Based on a novel of the same name, it's the story of a seventeen year old girl who is searching for her missing father. Sound like something you've seen before? Well it's not! The basic premise surrounds itself with remarkably new idea's and situation's. A feeling of noir envelopes the screen and each character and action leads you on a most enjoyable journey. The <more>
Actor's and more importantly Actress, are dug so deep into their characters that there isn't a single fake second.Debra Granik does an amazing job in the director/screenwriter role. Her vision entangles the story together and propels it forward to the unforgettable climax. The world that is shown through this film is one i was unfamiliar with, but after seeing it all i can think about is the life those characters lead. And how different it is from my own.A film that deserved the grand jury award at Sundance and one which I plan to see again. Winter's Bone is a film for everyone, be you young, old, or in the middle. Just walk into the cinema with an empty plate and you will leave filled.
This is an excellent film, the casting was perfect and, filmed on location in the Ozarks, it's depiction of poor rural mountain life in the South was thoroughly authentic. In another generation, it was moonshine that put these people on the wrong side of the law. Today, it's methamphetamine and OxyContin. As the plot moves forward through this drug subculture, the pride, family loyalty, code of honor and toughness of the people are revealed. Three performances stand out. Jennifer Lawrence never hits a false note as Ree Dolly, the 17 year-old protagonist who takes care of her little <more>
brother and sister and her mentally disabled mother. She learns that her father, who cooks methamphetamine, had been arrested and put up their house and land for bail bond. If he doesn't show up for court, they will lose their house, and she must find him. John Hawkes, cast as her uncle, Teardrop, quietly develops his character from someone who is initially menacing and untrustworthy into a man you can faintly admire. And Dale Dickey, as Merab, manages to convey a woman who is tough, mean, capable of violence, yet also honest and reluctantly sympathetic to Ree.
It is quite astonishing what people are capable of when their survival or way of life is threatened. In those moments, they are somehow able to employ a level of courage, perseverance, and high intention that they never knew they had. Such is the case for young Ree Dolly Jennifer Lawrence in Debra Granik's The Winter's Bone, winner of the Jury Prize for dramatic competition as well as the Waldo Salt Screen writing Award at the Sundance Film Festival. Newcomer Lawrence, a Kentucky native, is completely convincing as the 17-year-old Ree who has endured much in her brief lifetime and <more>
has plenty of obstacles yet to overcome. Living in poverty in a small house in the rural Missouri Ozarks, near the Arkansas border, she has to cook, chop wood and do whatever is necessary to care for her twelve-year old brother Sonny Isaiah Stone and her six-year old sister Ashlee Ashlee Thompson as well as look after her mother who is catatonic.Based on the novel by Daniel Woodrell and co-written by Granik and Anne Rosellini, The Winter's Bone depicts how young Ree's life is changed when the local sheriff informs her that her dad, Jessup, on the run after being arrested for "cooking" methamphetamines, has put the family's house up as bond and that, unless he is found and convinced to turn himself in, Ree's family will lose their house. Insisting to the sheriff that she will find him, the young girl begins a search among friends, family members, distant relatives, and the community of small-time crooks, dope dealers, and kingpins that dominate the male-dominated rural society. No one wants to talk and Ree is met with silence, hostility, and even violence. One neighbor tells her that her questioning is, "a real good way to end up et by hogs." When someone asks her, "Ain't you got no men folk to do this?" the answer is an emphatic "no." at times, the film seems to be challenging Juno for the most quirky one-liners .Ree's main antagonists are her father's terrifying older brother Teardrop, played by John Hawkes, and Merab Dale Dickey , the wife of Thump Milton, one of the local bosses. The performance by Dickey conveys an overbearing sense of intimidation that is both real and frightening. As Ree navigates through this hostile environment, we grow to admire her determination and her willingness to confront danger in order to protect her siblings. Winter's Bone is a film about poverty and desperation but it never exploits its characters or engages in manipulation or sentimentality. Though it can be hard to watch at times, it is not as some critics have said "poverty porn." There are lighter moments as well that include authentic Ozark folk music sung by Marideth Sisco and scenes of Ree teaching her brother and sister to spell, count, and perhaps more important for survival, how to shoot a rifle. She also tells her younger brother about the culture in which they live saying "Never ask for what ought to be offered." Though I was riveted by the unfolding story, perhaps because of the film's high degree of stylization, I stopped short of full emotional involvement and was often conscious of the fact that I was watching a movie. Yet The Winter's Bone is a rich, satisfying film that more than deserves the accolades it has been receiving. Though it is stylized, it has an authenticity derived from using local residents as actors and from the director having immersed herself in the culture for two years before shooting the film. Jennifer Lawrence conveys a stoic and hard-edged individual, yet one with integrity who has somehow avoided getting sucked into the soul destructive way of life that seems to be endemic to the area. In Ree, Granik has created one of the strongest female characters in cinema in memory, one who, by her sheer will, suggests what could be accomplished if all of us could live each day as if our life depended on it.
A compelling odyssey through the Ozarks (by Bob Pr.)
A film about life in the backwoods of the Missouri Ozark mountains, filmed on location and with local residents supplying many of the bit parts; principal characters Ree Dolly Jennifer Lawrence , her uncle, Teardrop John Hawkes , and Merab Dale Dickey , etc., are filled by experienced actors. Its tone is called "country noir."In this Ozark area cooking meth has replaced moonshining as the popular way to make an illegal living. Ree's father, Jessup, was charged with this and then has fled? -- disappeared. Ree is 16 years old and caring for her 12 year old brother and 6 year <more>
old sister as well as her catatonic mother. She depends mostly on the charity of neighbors for food, or from the squirrels she shoots, dresses, and cooks. A sheriff shows up and gives her notice that her father faces a court appearance in 10? days for cooking meth. To make his bond, her father had signed over the deed to their land and home as surety. If he doesn't show in time, Ree and her family will lose their only security.Ree says, "I'll find him," and the rest of the film deals with her determined quest -- meeting and overcoming most obstacles to find her father and save the family home.She makes an odyssey among both near and distant relatives seeking her father. It's a very gripping journey and gives a view of that particular type of rural life and culture which, perhaps slightly broadly drawn, is fairly realistic in its picture of that wintry land and its people.Some reviewers are already projecting "Winter's Bone" as best picture of the year and/or Jennifer Lawrence as Academy Award winner as best actress; her performance is that brilliant and gripping. The photography is great, the suspense thrilling. I was propelled through it almost as if riding a roller coaster.It was only after the movie was over and reflecting about it that I wondered why Missouri's social services network was never mentioned, made no appearance**--and how in the world could Ree become such a strong, determined character given her father, mother, and circumstances? But just as I don't question Ulysses' escaping the cave of the one-eyed giant in The Odyssey, these omissions don't bother me. It's a great story, wonderful film. But view the trailers if you have doubts about liking it. ** The message board for "WB" -- http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1399683/board -- answered my first question: these people do not trust government and shun contact with any help that might come with having to answer questions.
I had a very bad feeling about this movie, half expecting a pointless and artsy flick with no semblance of a plot. Boy, was I wrong. In a nutshell, the movie follows Ree Dolly, a teenage girl stuck in a dirt poor area in Missouri, trying to get by with her younger brother and sister and their depressed, lethargic mother. Their father is an absent figure, known to be involved in the production of meth, like many locals looking for cash in this barren, economically dead area. The environment, the people surrounding her... everything is bleak, harsh and brilliantly depicted by director Debra <more>
Granik but that's only the start of this film. One day, she learns her father has jumped bail. Problem is, the house was put on guarantee. Ree and her family will lose what little they have as the house will be seized in a week.But Ree is convinced her father may well be dead. She embarks on a quest to find out what happened to him and where he is. And in the process, must face and question people no teenage girl should have any business with, ever. Granik's direction is absolutely brilliant. Gritty, hearty, uncompromising. Some scenes are more chilling and tensed than any horror movie you could imagine. This movie is not for the faint of heart. Even the whole point of her quest is painfully tragic and without much hope. Which is the lesser of two evils? If Ree finds out and proves her dad is dead, her family is now fatherless and she must continue to be the main provider at the age of 17. If Ree's dad is still alive, it means he jumped bail and is now a fugitive, and Ree and her family are now homeless. The acting is fantastic. Jennifer Lawrence was a revelation here and has guaranteed herself a career with role. It wold take a string of duds for her to stop having work. The character Bree was a challenging role and it would have been easy to overdo things. The other spectacular performance with much less screen presence is by John Hawkes, who plays Bree's uncle. Teardrop is pretty much as legendary as any character could get in that sort of low-key drama. Hawkes steals every scene he is in and conveys a scary, menacing attitude while leaving a lot of depth and humanity show through. I've seen John Hawkes in tons of movies and I never, ever expected that kind of performance from him. I hope it gets him noticed. Many other performances are great but it would be too long to list.Winter's Bone is for me, without a doubt, one of the best movies of 2010. The plot is terrific and original, flirting with several genres without ever employing clichés for the sake of it. It is memorable and fresh. All the characters are fascinating, the situations interesting and director Granik's depiction of the Ozarks environment plunges you in this world. Best viewed when you're in the mood for a quite dark movie.
There'd better be some Oscar nominations coming for this little gem. (by lewiskendell)
SPOILER: "But I can't forever carry them kids and my mom, not without that house."Winter's Bone is a stark, almost documentary-like movie about a poor teenage girl named Ree in the Ozarks who supports her near-catatonic mother and two younger siblings during her meth-cooking father's many brushes with the law. When he disappears before a court date and the family's home is at risk if he doesn't show up, Ree Jennifer Lawrence investigates amongst the locals to find out where he might be. But, some people don't like the questions she's asking, and her <more>
life may be at risk, along with her family home. The plain, unobtrusive way that the camera observes events really helped draw me into the movie, to the point where I honestly forgot that I was watching a movie, at all. This effect was heightened by some excellent performances; especially from Jennifer Lawrence and John Hawkes Teardrop . Lawrence had a star-making and award worthy performance, in my opinion. Ree is probably my favorite movie character of the year well, perhaps next to Hit Girl , and Lawrence plays her with a realism and stubborn toughness that makes you believe that this seventeen year-old girl wouldn't wilt under the kind of circumstances that would overwhelm most adults. Her love for her family seems completely genuine, and there's never a word or a glance where she seems like she's "acting". It's all very natural, and I was beyond impressed.The plot was quite tense and engrossing, as Ree pursues the mystery of where her father is with a dogged intensity, despite the fact that it leads her into some very dangerous and violent situations. The sparse, beautiful winter settings are a perfect backdrop for the story. It's been a while since I've seen a movie that does as good a job as this one in communicating a sense of place.Winter's Bone may not be for everyone, though. There are no shoot-outs or florid romantic scenes. The moments of happiness are small, fleeting, and poignant; like a gift of generosity from a neighbor who knows you're in need, or the quiet assurances of an older sister to her younger siblings. In Winter's Bone, our world is never in danger...but one family's certainly is. I liked the movie the first time around, enjoyed it even more the second, and heartily recommend it if you're interested.
This film tells the sad story of inbred, poverty-stricken, Missouri Ozark hillbillies trying to scratch out a living on poor soil and even worse personal resources, so it was no wonder meth production was embraced as a life-changing profit center that had the illegal potential to change their lives for the better. Their poor lives before meth had a certain dignity in the hard struggle for survival in an uncaring world that had passed them by or never allowed them to catch up, either or both, but cheap and dangerous drug production leading to fast but risky money took these unfortunates down a <more>
road that surely few would have chosen if they had a chance beforehand to see any of the personal and social harm it created in a society already at great risk of decent survival. What great harm it did was shown and acted brilliantly, as it pushed these already at-risk people lower down the chain of life than before and surely even lower than the wild animals they had to kill for food.A young girl of 17, seeming older than her years, beaten up and beaten down, wary of those around her but needing their help, and with 2 young siblings and a helpless mother to care for, she learned that her drug-making, drugged-out father disappeared and missed a court date for a drug arrest, and the most important task of her life then became finding her father before they lost their meager home to bondsmen, as that sorry home place was all they had in the world but it was home and she intended with all her heart and soul to do whatever it took to keep it and her family together. The acting throughout was appropriately serious to deadly, with hardly even a smile to be seen, and left us thankful as seldom before for whatever our own lives give us compared to those in the story.Such a grim and foreboding task the daughter had, with imminent harm threatening around every corner she turned and behind every door on which she knocked, even those of relatives. Determination can get you far, but only so far unless you get a few breaks, and that long quest for a decent break was what kept viewer's eyes glued to the screen until it all played out in the end as could be expected in that dire situation. Bleak, stark, harsh, mean, cruel...all those tough adjectives were present in full force throughout her search, but present also was her eternal fire of human spirit and family duty that would never quit. When actual survival is at stake, this story showed well that some of us truly can find the right stuff to survive when no better choices are possible.
Greetings again from the darkness. A double award winner at the Sundance Film Festival, this film is based on Daniel Woodrell's novel and is directed by Debra Granik. It's opening sequence slaps the viewer with the bleak unforgivingness of life in the backwoods of the Ozarks. This is land of people that time has passed by.The basic premise of the story is that 17 year old Ree Dolly played by Jennifer Lawrence is responsible for raising her brother and sister and caring for her mentally-blank mother while maintaining a mostly positive outlook on the present and future. Reality <more>
strikes again when the local sheriff arrives to inform her that her missing, meth-lab running father has an upcoming court date. He used their land and house as collateral for his latest bond. If he fails to show, they will lose their home. Instead of breaking down, Ree pledges to find him and starts out on a hazardous journey, unlike we have seen on screen.This community of mountain people are distrusting of outsiders, but stunningly, are just as paranoid around insiders and even family members. Their way of life seems to depend on pure independence, even though they all seemed intertwined in the same illegal activities and daily quest for survival. Some kind of odd code exists - ask nothing, give nothing and get rid of any obstacles.The driving forces of the story are Ree and her constant hope and courage, and her bond to her dad's only brother, Teardrop played chillingly by John Hawkes. Teardrop tries to toughen up Ree and get her to accept her plight, while Ree constantly shows his there is reason to plow forward.The film is very well written and the local filming brings a harsh reality that was crucial to the film's success. Additionally, I was stunned at the fierceness displayed by Jennifer Lawrence as Ree. Her performance reminded me of my first exposure to the talents of Meryl Streep The Deer Hunter and Evan Rachel Wood Thirteen . Talk about powerful and exciting ... what she did with this role vaults her immediately into a very small group of actresses who can carry a movie with their presence. I am anxiously awaiting her next appearance - a Jody Foster project.I also want to mention the music in the film. The vocalist, Marideth Sisco, is also the vocalist in the living room band who makes an appearance in one scene. Her voice truly captures the balance of hope and acceptance of plight. This is not a movie for everyone, but it is fascinating and hardcore.