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Movie Review: Winter’s Bone

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Director Debra Granik (Down to the Bone) brings us a gripping story that takes place right in the heart of the rural, poverty stricken Ozark mountain region of Missouri.

A hard way to live, especially for seventeen year old Ree (Jennifer Lawrence) in Winter’s Bone. With her father rarely around, she must care for her two young siblings and ailing mother. When the local Sheriff informs Ree that her meth-cooking father has skipped out on bail and put the family’s house up for bond, she is forced to seek him out.

Ree first reaches out to her uncle, Teardrop (John Hawkes) who warns her not to go snooping around in regards to her father’s whereabouts. As Ree continues her search, she soon encounters hostility and realizes people may know more than they’re letting on. Teardrop also comes to the realization that he must step in and lend Ree a hand before things go too far.

Lawrence, in a 2010 Oscar nominated performance, showcases her acting chops as a strong-willed teen, who will not rest until she finds some answers. One of her most poignant scenes involves her nearly crumbling from all the pressure that has been put upon her as she pleads with her sick mother for help.

Hawkes, also nominated for his exceptional performance, is perfect as a volatile, drug-addicted man who deep within himself harbors some gentleness.

Granik and her cinematographer not only chose to use dark hues, which brings with it a sense of bleakness, but they also let some sunlight shine through, showing that there just may be some hope at the end of this tunnel.

Also, accompanying this harrowing and finely acted story is Dickon Hinchliffe’s brooding musical score, which helps establish the dark tone of the film.

Winter’s Bone is a remarkable movie that fully engages you and refuses to let go.

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