Winters Bone

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The script, by Granik and Anne Rosellini , based on the novel by Daniel Woodrell , uses the ancient form of an odyssey. At its end will be Ree's father, dead or alive.

"Winter's Bone" examines rural poverty

Most likely dead, she begins to conclude, but unless there is a body, her family will be homeless and torn apart. Although it has cars and electricity, running shoes and kitchens, cigarettes and televisions, these seem like relics of an earlier, prosperous time. If thrown-away possessions pile up around the houses of people, it is because they've reached the end of the line. There is no next stop.

There is a hazard of caricature here.

Winter's Bone

Granik avoids it. Her film doesn't live above these people, but among them. Ree herself has lived as one of them and doesn't see them as inferior, only ungiving and disappointing.

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In her father's world, everyone is a criminal, depends on a criminal or sells to criminals. That they are engaging in illegal activities makes them vulnerable to informers and plea-bargainers, so they are understandably suspicious.

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The cliche would be that they suspect outsiders. These characters suspect insiders, even family members. As Ree's journey takes her to one character after another, Granik is able to focus on each one's humanity, usually damaged.

They aren't attractions in a sideshow, but survivors in a shared reality. Do they look at Ree and see a girl in need and a family threatened with eviction? I think they see the danger of their own need and eviction; it's safer to keep quiet and close off. So the film rests on Ree, counter-balanced by Teardrop, who is aggressive with his hatefulness instead of passive in amorality.

A story like this could become mired in despair, but Ree's hope and courage lock us in.

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How did she get to be the way she is? We are born optimistic, although life can be a great discouragement. In every bad situation, there are usually a few good people. A video essay about Mortal Engines, as part of Scout Tafoya's ongoing video essay series on maligned masterpieces. This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr While the gun barrel sequences in James Bond films have not changed a great deal visually, one element that has evolv Reviews Winter's Bone. Who do you read?

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Good Roger, or Bad Roger? Roger Ebert This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. Popular Reviews Midsommar.

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Strongly directed by Granik, who did similar fine work with Farmiga, these persuasive and compelling performances provide the psychological integrity that holds the scenario together. At the top of the list is year-old Jennifer Lawrence, a native of Louisville who faultlessly disappears inside the central role of Ree, a young woman who has more than her share of difficulties even before the plot kicks in. With a mother who is close to catatonic and a father who, like many of his mountain neighbors, cooks methamphetamine for a living, Ree has to be the responsible one in the family, tutoring her two younger siblings in spelling, cooking and marksmanship. Then things get worse.

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The local sheriff tells Ree that not only has her father, Jessup Dolly, skipped out on bail and disappeared, but he has put the family house up as security. If Jessup is not found in a week, the bail company will take the house and just like that the Dollys will be homeless and destitute. So it falls to Ree to do what male heroes from Jason and the Argonauts seeking the Golden Fleece to Galahad searching for the Holy Grail have done: She goes on a quest.

More than that, she sets out to find her father in a world where women acting independently is actively discouraged. Ree undertakes this classic genre exercise in an especially dangerous, convincingly brutal world.