Posts Tagged ‘Debra Granik’

Winter’s Bone

Posted: November 25, 2010 by aoifewantonmovielover in Film
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In a nutshell: It’s noir country for young women – gritty, realistic, lethargically paced: just like Transformers 2, then.

Popcorn rating: 4/5

A gritty exposure of America’s unseen underbelly may seem an odd choice of viewing for a transatlantic flight – especially when they have Twilight’s Eclipse on offer – but the punishing air pressure and limited leg room only enhanced viewing of the gorgeous Winter’s Bone.

Debra Granik’s second feature takes you to Missouri’s Ozark mountains; an America far away from McDonalds and the affluent high rises. In a tight-knit community struggling against the elements, residents survive the bleak conditions and the crippling poverty by cooking and using crystal meth, affectionately known as ‘crank’.

As sole carer for her much younger brother and sister, 17-year-old Ree Dolly (Jennifer Lawrence) must contend with raising them and taking care of her catatonic mother. When the sheriff arrives at their door to tell them that her errant, meth-abusing and manufacturing father has skipped bail after placing their house as surety, it’s just another blow. If he doesn’t arrive at a hearing the following week they will be turned out of their home. Determined to track him down, Ree begins knocking on doors and as the initial frosty reception she receives grows more threatening, she starts to suspect his disappearance may be permanent.

Adapted from Daniel Woodrell’s – who coined the term noir country – novel Winter’s Bone is steeped in mystery, malevolence and blessed with a strong lead in Jennifer Lawrence; coming to a multiplex near you soon in the X-men reboot.

Cinematographer Michael McDonagh captures the stunning, foreboding beauty as Lawrence’s Ree – understated and courageous treks through a cold climate and an even colder reception from her ‘relatives’.

Focusing on family, community, strength and survival, Winter’s Bone does not play for thrills, despite being thrilling. Instead it assumes an unhurried and underplayed canter and succeeds with a walloping impact. At times beautiful while grisly, always powerful yet subdued, Winter’s Bone is a challenging watch, but haunting and worth the emotional investment. In-flight meal optional.

Reviewer: aoifewantonmovielover