Rating: 4 stars out of 5
The Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, John Hawkes, Lauren Sweetser
The Story: Ree Dolly is just 17-years-old but already she is responsible for the care of her two younger siblings and a catatonic mother. She lives in a poor rural area and barely gets by – she chops wood for fuel and hunts for food. When the local sheriff informs her that her absent meth-dealing dad has put up their cabin and property as bail bond and subsequently disappeared, her troubles are multiplied.
With her home in danger of being seized, Ree goes out looking for her wayward father. But Ozarks is not the sort of community where you can’t go around asking for other people’s whereabouts. With everyone tight-lipped or hostile, Ree faces an impossibly tall struggle, one that’s only matched by her determination to take her care of her own.
The Buzz:Winter’s Bone was honoured with the Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic Film and the Best Screenplay Award at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. It also won multiple awards at the Berlin Film Festival and Stockholm International Film Festival. The film was recently given nods in four Academy Award categories - the Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor.
inSing says: Based off a book by Daniel Woodrell, Down To The Bone director Debra Granik has fashioned a desolate and decaying portrait. The landscape and mood is so unendingly bleak that one could easily mistake this for John Hillcoat’s The Road if you just watched a random scene. Similar to True Grit, this film follows a resilient and resolute young girl in a journey spurred by a dead father.
Jennifer Lawrence, who plays Ree, displays a worldly weariness at a tender age that’s impressive in its sadness. Her search has less to do with finding her deadbeat dad and more to do with saving her family and she will not be stopped no matter what hardship it brings her. This is a girl who is used to abject poverty, so her idea of hardship varies wildly from our own.
She’s stared down, menaced and beaten-up by thugs or drug-dealers (some of whom are her own kin) but it does nothing to lessen her steel. Her coke-addicted uncle (John Hawkes) is a reluctant ally but his explosive temperament makes him anything but a comfort. This film chillingly follows our heroine as she plays dogged investigator, questioning those who will not be questioned, with admirable dexterity. Winter’s Bone is cold and harsh but bundled up underneath lies a winning protagonist with a burning heart.
Hidzir Junaini, aka inSing.com's Movie Lover, is 24-years-old and a wealthy playboy billionaire by day and a caped crusader by night. Only one of those is true. He’s actually a freelance writer, blogger, full-time film buff and some-time socially awkward nerd. He also writes about music, restaurants and nightlife for Metrowize Asia. Hidzir is the winner of the inaugural inSing Movie Lover contest that garnered over 1,000 participants. The Movie Lover contest is a search for a candidate who possesses outstanding passion for movies and a talent for writing engaging movie reviews.