Winterís Bone Review
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While most teenage girlsí biggest concerns revolve around who will pay their cell phone bill and who Bella will choose in next Twilight entry, Ree (Jennifer Lawrence) has real responsibilities that no person her age should bear. In addition to taking care of her younger brother and sister for her mentally ill mother, she must now track down her fatheróa meth-head who put their house up for bail and skipped his court date.

Traveling through the Ozarks of Missouri, Ree confronts hillbilly kin as she searches for her father. You would think that most would be willing to help on her quest, but she soon finds out that many were involved in her fatherís businessóand, as they say, ďtalkiní creates witnesses.Ē

Yes, this is bleak material, but itís not entirely hopelessóand Ree isnít entirely alone. Her neighbor provides mild charity. An Army recruiter shoots her straight by telling her not to join the military for money, since her real responsibilities are at home right nowónot in her countryís service. And, finally, a wayward uncle eventually comes around and begins to help the family out.

Other surprises lurk around the corner as well, and itís an understatement to call certain developments unexpected.

Every once in a while, a film will acknowledge that not everyone in this country lives in New York or Los Angeles. Winterís Bone, based on a novel by Daniel Woodrell and directed by Debra Granik, truly understands its characters and its southern Missouri locations.

The filmmakers seem to be intimately familiar with their surroundings, and everything about the film feels authentic. From the way the characters talk to the way their cluttered porches and lawns look, Winterís Bone is detailed to a T. Though these characters may not seem like lovable people, they are filmed with love and great attention. And the performers in the movie do not feel like actors but rather inhabitants of this land, living out their daily lives.

Winterís Bone is a film that serves as a travelogue to a rarely-seen part of America. Itís a rare kind of film thatís not often seen these days.

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