Ree Dolly is raising two kids, keeping up with laundry, cooking, cleaning and chopping firewood for the coming winter. She’s also going to school and is thinking about joining the army. And she’s only 17.
Ree’s mother is a mental invalid, so the responsibility for her 12 year-old brother and 6 year-old sister have fallen to her. She gets them fed, gets them to school and gets them in bed. She had to give up her horse because she can’t afford to feed it anymore, and the homestead her family lives in is more than enough to keep her busy.
Until one day when the sheriff comes knocking at her door, and says her father has a court date set for the following week and he appears to be a “runner”. Oh, and did the sheriff mention he used the house and property as collateral for his bond payment to get out of jail? If Ree’s father doesn’t show up for his court date the bond company will be the owners of the house and land, and Ree and her family will be evicted.
Ree sets off on a search through the backwoods area she lives in trying to find her father and save her home. But she meets with some very strange opposition along the way, and soon learns that blood isn’t actually thicker than mud no matter what anyone tells you.
The movie is called Winter’s Bone, and it’s fantastic. It stars Jennifer Lawrence (watch for her in the future, she’s amazing!) and the movie gives the impression of simply being a camera crew following a group of what can only be called hillbillies as they go about their treacherous lives.
The acting in this is so authentic, the tension palpable, the bleakness and chill so well-displayed and visually captured, I wanted to call this a horror movie. Not only did I want to, I did. The creep-factor alone was higher than most of the “horror” movies I see anymore, and with such excellent suspense in some places, I actually relaxed when the movie ended. The writing is stellar, the acting brilliant, and the story gripping and compelling. There’s nothing I didn’t like about this movie, and the length was perfect. It had everything it needed and nothing it didn’t.
This is classified on NetFlix as “noir drama”, but you should decide for yourself. I gave it five stars. It was great, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to someone looking for a good Saturday night movie to watch.
Copyright DarcKnyt 2011, All rights reserved