Winter's Bone tells the story of Ree Dooy (Jennifer Lawrence) a 17 year-old girl who is forced to take care of her younger brother and sister. Her mother is mentally incapacitated and her father is a meth-head leaving her little other options. One day, The Sheriff informs Ree that her father put their house up for his bail bond and disappeared. This sets Ree off looking for her father, which inherently leads her down a rather dark and mysterious path of town secrets and meth-heads. If Ree fails to find her father, her entire family will be thrown out of there house and into the woods "like dogs" as Ree herself puts it. Winter's Bone is a strong thriller/mystery that takes its time from the very beginning to develop this southern underbelly setting. Before the "inciting incident" even takes place, the viewer is shown Ree's surroundings, her home, andher daily routines. This gives the audience enough time to engross oneself into her world of the poverty stricken South. Winter's Bone's atmosphere fells geniune and even gives off a nice foreboding sense of dread. As the film progresses we follow Ree, as she sifts through various lies and mysteries slowly unraveling the truth about her father. The pacing is perfect, in that the audience basically experiences exactly what Ree does, and is forced to pay attention to small details. Jennifer Lawrence is impressive as the tough skinned Ree. This film is pretty close to a one-woman show, and her performance is strong-willed yet niave. The supporting cast is also good, particularly John Hawkes who plays Teardrop, the brother of Ree's missing father. Winter's Bone story and script is overall very subtle. There are a few moments where the dialogue is a little too information heavy aka NOT SUBTLE, but overall, its well written and feels genuine to the setting. It touches on the social order of things in small southern towns and how important reputation can be. It never dives too deeply into the Meth world either, only giving us glimpses, never taking us away from the central story arch-character struggle Ree is going through.
Love of all things cinema brought me here.