Winter’s Bone (2010)

Winter’s Bone is Debra Granik‘s second movie, starring Jennifer Lawrence, John Hawkes, Lauren Sweetser and Dale Dickey.

Ree (Jennifer Lawrence) is only a teenager, but she’s been taking care of her family – a psychotic mother and two little kids – ever since her father got arrested for drug dealing. When the sheriff (Garret Dillahunt) turns up to tell her that her father gave their house and land as security for his bail and disappeared, Ree can’t take the risk of losing everything. So she starts to look for her father. But it seems that nobody wants her to find him.

Winter’s Bone is an excellently cast, wonderfully shot and very atmospheric film. Despite being not that “actiony”, it’s a very tense film and one that will draw you in right away.

Jennifer Lawrence is an amazing actress not only for her young age but in general. She pulls off this movie easily. Or at least seemingly easily. The supporting cast was great, too. Especially Dale Dickey and John Hawkes.

Ree is a wonderful character and made even better by the fact that she’s such a strong, fierce heroine. We get them much too rarely and even more seldom we get them with such a sense of awe surrounding them: you can’t help but admire her because apparently everyone involved in the making of this film did.

But I think the person I was most impressed with in this film was Debra Granik. Not only with her screenplay, but also with her directing. She creates a tight and tense atmosphere that’s frankly astonishing and really keeps this film together.

Not that the film needs much keeping together – the story works very well and the cast, as I’ve already mentioned, did too. The cinematography was great. But still, Granik ties it all together with a bow on top and creates a film that’s better than the sum of its parts.

Summarising: Definitely recommended.


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