“Winter’s Bone” Needs Some Flesh
by Nicholas Robinson
Ree Dolly is a seventeen year old teenager raising her younger brother and sister in the Ozarks while her father was in prison. Her father is now on parole and has disappeared. Ree (Jennifer Lawrence) soon learns he has put their house up for his bail bond and it will be taken from them if he does not show up to court. Ree is forced to go against the hillbilly community to find out the truth about her father. Ree is now in over her head. – IMDB.com
Before today, I had never heard of his movie. And I didn’t even hear about it on the internet or at the movies or anything. All I heard was my brother say that it was Brick, but in the South and that made me want to watch it so bad that I took a trip to our local DVD rental place and rented it and watched it. I was sorely disappointed. The story was boring, the direction average, but the acting was good and the dialogue was also good.
Let’s start out with the story. It was boring. A girl finds out that her father put up the house as his bail and that if he doesn’t show up for court in a week, they’ll lose it so she goes off to find him. Now, that is a very interesting premise but it was executed poorly. She spent most of the week at home with her little siblings as if she had given up due to the obstacles put in her way. I almost fell asleep watching it and it was in the middle of the bloody day! That is the mark of a boring story if you ask me.
The direction in this movie was average and amateur. I mean, I understand that it is an extreme indie movie and all but they could have done something with it. Ink was made dirt cheap and had the same grainy look that this movie had due to probably the same lack of fancy equipment but still made it work. This was just bland.
What I do have to say was good about this movie was the acting. Jennifer Lawrence and John Hawkes gave wonderful performances as Ree Dolly and her Uncle Teardrop Dolly. No matter how bad a story is it doesn’t mean that the acting has to be. Jennifer Lawrence made you feel everything that Ree felt in that movie (sadness, pain, hurt, anything). John Hawkes also did a great job as the woman-beating but loving Uncle Teardrop.
Although the story was boring, what kept me from falling asleep was the dialogue. The backing and forthing between all the characters and the extremely protective ways of the families just came out really well in the dialogue. One of my favourite bits though was when Ree went to Thump’s (Ronnie Hall) house for the 2nd time and was confronted by Merab (Dale Dickey) and the events and conversation that followed. It just fit the mood and story wonderfully.
Overall a disappointing movie that is overhyped by the people who have watched it, but not without some good dialogue and performances.
IMDB says 7.5/10
RT says 94%
I say 5/10