directed by Debra Granik
While tweens all over the earth are getting their kicks by watching a high school reject dealing with her boy troubles, grownups everywhere need to be getting their mature asses to the nearest theatre featuring Debra Granik’s stunner of a film about life in the Ozarks. Winter’s Bone tells the story of 17 year old Ree Dolly and her struggle to keep her family together after her father puts up the house and land as collateral on a bond, then fails to appear at court. For a story about a teenager, you will find none of the usual plot points. No romance. No homework. No “Who am I?” pouting and angst that seem to ooze from the usual Hollywood schlock. And Garnik has struck unobtanium in Jennifer Lawrence, who plays Ree with a toughness that makes live oak seem like tissue paper. Lawrence plays Ree just as Garnik directs: sans pretense, showiness and audience pandering. You have to look closely to find the true dynamics going on here, and with a supporting cast like Garret Dillahunt and the criminally underappreciated John Hawkes, the result is a gut clutching masterpiece. Hawkes and Lawrence both deserve Oscar nods for Winter’s Bone, and Debra Granik’s film is hands down one of the best of the year to date. Don’t get left out in the cold. See it.