Winter’s Bone

Winter’s Bone, which was written and directed by Debra Granik, based on a novel by Daniel Woodrell, is set in the Ozark mountains in southern Missouri. It tells the story of a seventeen-year-old girl, Ree Dolly (Jennifer Lawrence), whose father is a crystal meth maker. Because her father is not around much of the time, she has to take of her mentally ill mother and her younger brother and sister. The sheriff tells her that her father has put up her family’s farm as bond for an upcoming court appearance. If he fails to show, they will lose their farm. Ree sets out to find her father to make sure that he goes to court. However, her questions about her father’s whereabouts are greeted with hostility from almost everyone she meets. She gradually come to the conclusion that her father has been murdered.

There are no good guys vs. bad guys in this film. Almost everyone Ree meets is either directly or indirectly involved in the meth business. The local law enforcement proves to be corrupt. Ree shows no interest in finding justice for her father; she only wants to save her family’s farm.

Winter’s Bone is about the difficult choices individuals have to make to survive in a society that has become thoroughly corrupt. Although a bleak film, it shows a deep sympathy for its characters. I was impressed by the acting, which I found thoroughly convincing.

Highly recommended.

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