- 11 Oct 10
Winter’s Bone is flawless to the last detail. A gripping gumshoe story.
Life is tough for 17-year-old Ree Dolly (the remarkable Jennifer Lawrence). Growing up the Ozarks among an impoverished, insular community that make the banjo players of Deliverance look like Manhattan sophisticates, she has very little to look forward to; these unforgiving Rocky Mountains can only offer fried squirrel as a delicacy and crystal meth as both pastime and lifestyle. It gets worse; her no-good Pa has upped and disappeared leaving his last bondsman banging at the door. Without him, she’ll lose the family home and without the family home, the state will take away the younger siblings she has raised; momma disintegrated into shuffling, catatonic madness long ago, her mute, broken physical shell now belies the fact that she’s simply not there. Ree, a determined, hardened kid who espouses the mantra “Don’t ask for nothing that ought to be offered”, sets out to look for her nogoodnik father knowing her detective work will almost certainly get her killed. She simply has no other choice. Director Debra Granik and co-writer Anne Rosellini, working from a redneck noir novel by Daniel Woodrell, rightly took home the top prize and the Waldo Salt screenwriting award from this year’s Sundance. It’s easy to see why; Winter’s Bone is flawless to the last detail. A gripping gumshoe story, the central drama is heart-quickening enough to compete with the dying moments of a closely fought cup final; the performances are full blooded, the cinematography is stark and eerily real. The best-reviewed film of 2010 is more than just a movie; it’s an instant modern classic.