Saturday, November 19, 2011

Winter's Bone

As for usual Hollywood standards, most female roles tend to cross into degrading territory. That's mostly for studio movies, mind you. At least independent movies are more focused on character examination rather than making money.

Debra Granik's Winter's Bone does have character examination, mainly in the roles by Jennifer Lawrence and John Hawkes (fittingly the two Oscar nominees). Lawrence may be the principle character, but I feel that Winter's Bone loses something when Hawkes isn't on screen.

Winter's Bone is also successful at depicting the rugged life some people have to face. Some will do anything to save or earn money, but they stop at desperate measures. The bleak weather and lack of light adds to the moody nature of the movie.

If you think this would be a positive review, think again. The narrative for this was so dense, I was certain I was going to fall asleep. The only things keeping the movie afloat are Lawrence and Hawkes. Everything else is weak.

My Rating: ***1/2


  1. Interesting stance. I'm surprised you didn't like this one much. I thought it was one of the best films of last year. The story is bleak, and dense, but it's consistently intriguing. I feared for Lawrence's character, dealing with such undesirables. I love the subtlety of the final scene too. Hawkes was electrifying. He should have won the Supporting Oscar IMO. And Lawrence too, deserved her recognition. Nice write up Anna.

  2. Winters Bone was one of those films that I heard so much buzz about that I felt compelled to watch it, especially since I do my best to watch every Oscar contender pre Awards.

    I did enjoy the film for the performances given by the two you mentioned. I don't know if it was my mood or the plot dragging a bit for me and the disappointing ending. Then it could be the hype making me think I would love the film and everything about it.

    I was watching an episode of Anthony Bourdain recently and he went to Missouri to visit the author of Winters Bone, Daniel Woodrell. I was quite surprised at how he lives, still hunting and pretty much hanging out where he got the inspiration for Winter's Bone. Sadly, he got into a boating accident while filming with Anthony and broke his arm. Anyway, wanted to share that.
    I enjoyed your review. Have a great weekend!

  3. I thought Lawrence held this film above water - like you said. It a tad to slow for my liking, but it's a fascinating character study.

  4. Good film but not a great film, I was constantly reminded of the superior Frozen River which I thought was excellent.

  5. I was very afraid of being bored and not liking this one, but even though I watched after a very, very long day, and I was really tired, I was absolutely intrigued and this is one of my favorite 2010 films.

  6. I did not have Winter's Bone in my top 10 of 2010, but I found that months later it was still sticking with me, whereas other movies had not.

    I have to say that your post is confusing. On the one hand you condemn most movies for offering degrading roles for women, then when presented with a movie that provides a fantastic role for a woman, you call it too dense.

  7. Really enjoyed Winter's Bone. Lawrence was great in it (I was surprised when I saw some footage of her at the Oscars and she was a little goofy, not at all like her character - although I guess she was nervous).

    WB seemed like a documentary at times, due to - in my opinion - the bleak realism throughout the tale. Nice post!


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