The pacing is excellent and Lawrence’s performance pitch perfect throughout, from hungrily awaiting offerings of rations from the neighbours to finding herself on the receiving end of some serious community backlash. Mired with toil, Winter’s Bone is a chilling film with excellent performances and stunning locations. Believe the hype, for it is well deserved.
Heaped upon with praise since Sundance 2010, Winter’s Bone has made the rounds from Berlin to Melbourne to Edinburgh International Film Festivals.
Directed by Deborah Granik, Winter’s Bone is the story of Ree Dolly (Jennifer Lawrence), a 17 year-old whose father has disappeared, leaving her to care for her mentally ill mother and younger siblings. What’s worse, father has made bail using the family home as a bond, and if he misses his court date, the family will be homeless.
The arid Ozark Mountains provide an eerie setting that reflects the abject poverty and dearth of human relationships in ranch-town Missouri. Trudging from shack to shack, each resident more forbidding than the last, Ree’s pilgrimage across the barren land is realistic, engrossing, and chilling. Though many of the nearby residents are extended family, Ree’s investigations into her father’s whereabouts invite only scorn and suspicion.