- Running time:
- 99 minutes
- Jennifer Lawrence -
- Ree Dolly
- John Hawkes -
- Kevin Breznahan -
- Little Arthur
- Dale Dickey -
- Garret Dillahunt -
- Sheriff Baskin
17-year-old Ree Dolly (Jennifer Lawrence) needs to find her missing father or her family will lose their Ozarks home to bail bondsmen looking to collect on a payment. So Ree sets out on an unexpectedly dangerous mission to cut through the secrets, lies and unsettling traditions surrounding her family and neighbors.
The buzz: One of the most celebrated films at this year’s Sundance film festival, “Winter’s Bone” won the top prize in the dramatic competition. It’s based on a novel by mystery writer and Missouri native Daniel Woodrell, and is the second film from director Debra Granik, whose debut “Down to the Bone” contained a breakthrough performance from Vera Farmiga.
The verdict: Like last year’s “Precious,” another Sundance breakout about a teenager taking control of her life, “Winter’s Bone” digs deeper than stereotypes to illuminate the inner lives of people in tough situations rarely seen on film. Unlike “Precious,” “Winter’s Bone” unfolds as a good old mystery yarn, and the resulting necessities like suspense and plot twists don’t always gel with Granik’s naturalistic approach to the characters and their environment. But even when “Winter’s Bone” feels like two different movies playing at once, they’re both engrossing. It’s also a benefit to have Lawrence in the anchor role, contributing a beautiful breakout performance of resilience and grace. She’s especially well matched opposite John Hawkes (“Deadwood”) as Ree’s screwed-up uncle and self-appointed protector.
Did you know? “Winter’s Bone” was shot on location in Missouri. The filmmakers insisted on using an actual occupied house for Ree’s home to maintain credibility.
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