WINTER’S BONE – Sundance Movie Review
WINTER’S BONE is the third movie from director Debra Granik and stars Jennifer Lawrence (The Bill Engvall Show), John Hawkes, Dale Dickey, and Garret Dillahunt. Winter’s Bone tells the story of Ree (Jennifer Lawrence) who lives in a poor community tucked in the Ozark Mountains with her two little siblings and her sick mother. After being told by the police that her meth dealing dad has skipped on his bond putting their home in jeopardy, Ree goes on a mission to find her father to convince him to turn himself in so that they don’t lose their house and have the family disbanded.
Ree’s family life is a mix of social and economic hardship that is unfortunately typical for a young 17 year old who is taking care of her entire family on her own with no steady source of income. That puts a lot of pressure on her to be strong and play the role of Daddy, Mommy, Daughter and sister to the entire household. As Ree, Jennifer Lawrence delivers a powerful performance where she balances strength and emotions in such a masterful way that you cannot help but be in awe.
Lawrence is not the only one delivering phenomenal performances. John Hawkes who plays Teardrop, Ree’s uncle, is nothing short of brilliant as a drug dealing tough guy who does his best to help Ree navigate the drug scene while also trying to keep his own emotions in check. Words cannot express the sheer intensity and realness that Hawkes brings to the table in the great scenes he has with Lawrence throughout the movie. I can’t forget to give a special mention to Dale Dickey (My Name Is Earl) who shines through as a badass matron that would make you shake in your boots.
Beyond the brilliant acting, Winter’s Bone has a powerful and well told story that keeps the tension up in the movie all throughout, and you are definitely kept on the edge of your seat. The story is also educational as it is a pretty interesting study of the folks living in the Ozark Mountains from their cultural norms to their fantastic music. The movie does a great job of never making it into a caricature or a stereotype which kept the whole thing extremely believable
In short, I loved this movie. Winter’s Bone is by far one of my top three favorite movies at Sundance. Hell, it is one of my top three movies this year alone. If you see nothing else this year, go watch Winter’s Bone, you won’t be sorry.