Winter's Bone review by Melissa Orcine - Cinema Paradiso
Seventeen-year-old Ree Dolly (Jennifer Lawrence) is no ordinary teenager in the Missouri Ozarks. Her mother is catatonic so she has stepped up in caring for her and her two younger siblings. Her father’s no better; he’s hiding because of involvement with drugs, and he has set up their only home as bond. The sheriff (Garett Dillahunt) informs her that if her father doesn’t surrender, they will be forced to leave.
Before they become homeless, Ree sets out to find her father but her hometown isn’t exactly a welcoming place. Besides the biting cold, most of her neighbors are destitute and have meth labs of their own. They want nothing to do with Ree, including her Uncle Teardrop. If Ree can’t find her father, what happens to her and her family then?
Directed by Debra Granik and based on the 2006 novel of the same by David Woodrell,‘Winter’s Bone’ is an all-too-real depiction of the filthy poor living in the US. This is the un-glamorized American Dream wherein the objective is to get through the day alive, whether it’s cooking meth or hunting for squirrels as food.
Jennifer Lawrence is feisty and strong but also exudes the vulnerability of someone who is burdened by responsibilities that are not her own. She is a teenager, after all, and with every step she takes to find her father, her existence is uncertain and always in peril. ‘Winter’s Bone’ was nominated for four Oscars, a Best Actress for Lawrence, Best Supporting Actor for character actor John Hawkes, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Picture. The film was lauded by different award-giving bodies and critics alike.
‘Winter’s Bone’ is a young girl’s coming-of-age story with poverty as its main antagonist. Its heroine, Ree Dolly, is uninterested in going to the mall, meeting cute boys, or having a dilemma what to wear. She has ‘real’ problems to deal with and it includes everyone and everything around her. This is her miserable life but a life nonetheless.