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Review: Winters Bone (2010)

April 13, 2012

Film + Entertainment | by Danny & Josh

I was sceptical of this film, and completely taken aback when I managed to find a reasonably priced copy, but I have to say BUY IT! This film is beautiful, heart wrenching and absolutely thrilling!

Ree, a poor teenage girl, is portrayed in a stunningly realistic fashion by the fantastic Jennifer Lawrence. As a young girl supporting not only her young siblings but also her near catatonic mother she seems a little hard to connect with, but as a viewer you are swiftly painted a dreadfully stark picture of her life, from her sickeningly poor rations to the unhealthy upbringing and absent father, and each element unveils her life making it almost impossible to not see her point of view.


Winter’s Bone is much like a documentary which undeniably adds to it’s realism and dramatic effect, it drives emotion to the spectator and you are firmly believing this to be reality. This is what really makes the film what it is, a dramatic, stark encounter with the depths of the most downtrodden areas of society. It is certainly not a fluffy romance with a storybook ending, a genre we certainly do not need to see more of!


Winters Bone centres around the search for Ree’s father, who has fled the family home due to one of his many encounters with the law. Trouble stirs as Ree begins to investigate his disappearance through questioning the locals, it soon becomes obvious that this man was in a lot more trouble than it initially seemed. Ree begins to create more issues and with many twists and turns in the story line it soon becomes a film not to be watched alone or with the lights down! Winter’s Bone reminds us of why Man is the most terrifying being on this earth, say goodbye to Twilight, Alien and 30 Days of Night, this will better keep you on the edge of your seat biting your tongue!


The cinematography is stunning in this picture and as the camera observes all situations in an unobtrusive way you are drawn in further and it is difficult to remember you are watching a movie as you are eased to the perfect viewpoint to observe the drama, torture and at many points love. The movie takes you to many places and although the moments are rare, fleeting and poignant, love is a central part to this piece, most impressive through her loyalty to her family and the eventual family ties that begin to surface, it will sure warm your heart… between the cringing and biting of nails that is!
Winter’s Bone displays some of the most stunning performances I have seen of late, especially that of Jennifer Lawrence and John Hawkes who plays Teardrop her Fathers brother. Both actors display impressively accurate performances even at the most tense and gut wrenching moments. It would be crazy of me not to mention the amazingly breathtaking winter settings which forms the most spectacular backdrops to this story, a setting not often visited due to its dullness but it compliments the narrative perfectly and simply completes the artwork-like imagery.

Due to it’s non subtle moves toward torture and general violence Winter’s Bone is certainly not for everybody [the light hearted folk!] but to everybody else you would be insane not to give it the time of day and admire the amazing work created by the incredible director Debra Granik.
Sarah Everest.