Review - Winter's Bone

Winter’s Bone (2010), R, 100 minutes – Winter’s Bone is a dank and cold drama/thriller that I never would have checked out had my friend Chris not mentioned it one conversation over beers. So when he was back in town almost a month later we decided to give it a look down at the local art house theater, the one place in town that consistently screens such films. And I’m glad we did.

Winter’s Bone is based in the Ozark Mountain region and revolves around Ree (Jennifer Lawrence), a 17 year old girl who gets by day by day supporting her family (mother, two younger siblings) in the absence of her drug peddling father who has recently been arrested. Things get more complex when the local Sherriff (Garret Dillahunt) stops by to inform Ree that her father put up the family house and land in order to post bail. If he doesn’t show up at his hearing, they lose it all. Ree vows to make sure that her father shows up and begins hunting him down by contacting some not so nice family members and ‘business associates’ of her father’s. She meets resistance at every step, especially from her uncle, Teardrop (John Hawkes). As she continues her search, she learns that something more sinister is going on than a bunch of cons protecting their own by not talking.

Jennifer Lawrence turns in an excellent performance as Ree. I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if she gets strong consideration in the best actress categories come award season. John Hawkes is almost as good and is a large reason why the tension level in the film is so high throughout. There’s a lot more love in him for his brother’s family than we are led to believe after his first meeting with Ree.

There are two scene’s that really stand out in showing just how determined Ree is in her search so that her family does not get their house and land taken away. These scenes, as well as the change in her relationship with Teardrop are the strongest aspects of Winter’s Bone. The way the film is shot really conveys the feeling of a cold winter in a remote area as well as the ongoing high tension. After the sheriff’s initial visit, you really don’t feel a sense of safety for the rest of the film. It is a bit of a slow burn, Winter’s Bone makes up for that with Ree’s determination and story of corruption in the remote region of the Ozarks.


  1. 'Bout time you got this done. Very nice review, by the way, without telling them the part about how the butler did it...


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