Thursday, March 20, 2014

Indie Review: Winter's Bone (2010)

                                           A Rather 'Wintry' Mix of Brilliant And Just Meh

                                Usually, when a movie leaves me speechless, it is because of how amazing it is. However, Winter's Bone just left me speechless because of how amazingly ok it is. The film is like watching snow fall from the ground on a cold winter's day. It seems wondrous to look at, but other than that, it doesn't have too much to offer.

                     Winter's Bone is about a 17-year-old girl named Ree Dolly (Jennifer Lawrence) who is like the mother of her household as she practically raises her two siblings and her mother is very sick. She is then told by the police that her father Jessup, who is in the meth business, has to show up for court within a week and if he doesn't show, they lose the house because he put it up for collateral. She then goes on a pursuit to find him, only to be warned to not poke into other people's business or she could end up in peril.

                     What I Liked About It:
                   First off, I did love Jennifer Lawrence's performance. In this film, Lawrence gives a rather silent performance and lets her eyes and face do the acting. I honestly didn't even feel like I was watching Jennifer Lawrence on screen, just her character. But that of course is the genius of her acting ability and it's no surprise that she landed an Oscar nod for her brilliant performance. I also liked the film's direction from Debra Granik, who also did Down to the Bone. While this film has the same kind of bleakness that Down to the Bone has, Granik directed this much differently and I even liked how she hardly incorporates any music into the film. The sound effects that you here are mostly just an axe chopping wood or wind blowing and it gives the film almost a rather chilling feel.

                   What I Didn't Like About It:
                 Honestly, my biggest issue with this film is that while it has brilliant direction and even showcases the theme of not knowing when to "back off" when told to, there isn't a whole lot that happens. Other than the scenes where Ree is going from house to house asking around about her father, we just see scenes of her with her family and such.

                 Overall, Winter's Bone is a film that features brilliant direction and a wonderful performance from Jennifer Lawrence as well as intense thematic material, but there honestly isn't much else. I wouldn't recommend this to everybody, but if you are a Jennifer Lawrence fan, I would say give it a watch to see her performance.

Rating: 3/5