Jennifer Lawrence is red hot now. She surprised me when she grabbed the Best Actress award, but thats because I didn’t see Silver Linings Playbook yet. I still need to get that in. Before that, I wanted to check out her previous work and its in the form of this little film called Winter’s Bone.
Director: Debra Granik
17 year old Ree Dolly (Jennifer Lawrence) is left to take care of her sick mother and 2 younger siblings (Isaiah Stone and Ashlee Thompson) when her father is on bail. One day, when the Sheriff (Garret Dillahunt) drops by and tell her that her father has jumped bail and has disappeared and before that, he had put his house that they were currently living in and the land as collateral, making them homeless if she can’t bring him back or prove that he’s dead. Ree has no choice but to start asking around a dangerous group that his crystal meth making father hangs around and who would rather have everything quiet and as little trouble as possible. She starts off by asking help from his uncle Teardrop (John Hawkes) who refuses her right on the spot and tells her to leave it alone as everyone else has said but when this means that she’s the only one looking out for her family, she has no choice but to continue digging deeper even if it means going for the leaders of this scene, Thump Milton (Ronnie Hall) and his wife (Dale Dickey) to find out where her father is whether dead or alive.
Winter’s Bone had Academy Awards nominations for Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay. I didn’t know going into this that it was adapted from a book but it has a really strong story and I’d definitely check out the book when I get the chance. On that note, this drama was powerful. Jennifer Lawrence was amazing. To think that this was only one of her first roles in the business. She is definitely talented and that role needed her to be tough and desperate. Plus, I didn’t know many of the supporting cast except for Dale Dickey who played Thump Milton’s wife because she is in True Blood. She’s super awesome also.
This movie approached everything with questions and more questions and the main big one that kept us guessing was really whether Ree’s father was dead or alive. What happened to him? Where did he go? What went down? Finally, its really whether Ree will be able to take care of her family when it seemed like all paths came up with nothing especially when no one was willing to help her. This made for some action as in roughing the weaker gender in a very patriarch society and finding the courage to do what has to be done. It is deliberately set to be slow but in this scenario, it really works wonders as it kept me engaged and thinking.
I sat for almost a week thinking of what to write for this one and how to review it and I found it really hard. What hinders other movies actually strengthens this one. Its slow pace gives it more power; its cast was perfect in each role and convincing as hell as they acted so great, even the kids were awesome. The quiet intensity that builds during the movie is totally compelling. I’ve been watching so many surprisingly good movies these days and plus, this one is rocking a 92% on the RT meter. I’d say thats a must-see right here (even if you don’t trust what I said up there).
What do you think of Jennifer Lawrence? Are you excited for Hunger Games 2? Have you read the novel that Winter’s Bone is adapted from? What did you think of this movie?
I have too many movies reviews so stay tuned for another one later today 🙂