Winter's Bone - **1/2
Directed by: Debra Granik
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, John Hawkes, Kevin Breznahan, Dale Dickey
Review: So this movie has gotten all kinds of rave reviews and it piqued the interest of the Jeff Report and the Jackie Report. After hunting down where it was playing in town we decided we wanted to see it.
I knew very little about the movie going in (which is usually a good thing) and I still got something I didn't see coming. The movie involves a young girl who has to embark on a search for her father in the back woods of the Ozarks in Missouri. You see, she has been informed that her father has recently gotten in trouble and to post bail, put up the title to their land and house. This leads her to encounter many seedy and unsavory types her father was involved with, some of which are actually related to her. Actually, are they all somehow related? I am not sure and the movie is never quite clear.
That is where I had the issue with this movie. Everything is just not quite clear. Perhaps the filmmaker thought his audience was more intelligent than I am, I am not sure. There is a certain artistic quality about not laying everything out for the audience which I feel this movie tried to embrace but I just feel like they left TOO much to supposition.
The movie deals with the seedy underbelly of the apparently drug infested back woods of the Ozarks. Who knows if it's actually quite that bad but I feel like the filmmakers wouldn't have done it as they did if there wasn't at least some basis for it. However, as I am probably as unfamiliar as most people about this culture, it makes it hard to sympathize/understand what's going on. There are a lot of unspoken rules/normalcies in this culture that are weird and go unexplained. It makes it hard to follow the movie.
The movie was very well made (especially for the budget) and very well acted which makes it very engrossing even if it is confusing. It is definitely not for everyone, but if you are a movie buff and would like to see something different, then it's worth your time.