Winter's Bone Movie & Jennifer Lawrence (Hunger games)
Jennifer Lawrence, the new starlet emerging from Hollywood, was first noticed by everyone in Winter's Bone, she became a star in Hunger Games. Her rapid climb from obscurity is what stardom is all about. For some, it happens in two years, like for Jennifer, while others toil for the same success for years.
Winter's Bone (2010) is low budget at $2 million to make. It has made $13 million. The cast consists of nobody really. Hard pressed to find any recognized name and when it came out, even Ms. Lawrence was in that same group. The movie is a dark, serious drama with a few cuss words, some fighting. I guess that is why it was rated R, I would say it was "overrated".
The movie at its core is about Ree Dolly, a teen girl played by Jennifer L., who lives with her mom and smaller kids in the dirt poor Ozarks where everyone earns a living cooking crank in kitchens. Ree's mom is comatose but not in the literal sense. Her role in the movie is "being there". Ree takes care of her mom and kids. The father is gone and although we hear about him in dialog, he is like Casper the ghost in the movie. Through dialog, we learn he had got busted for making crank and then got out on bail by posting his only possession, a rundown wooden house for collateral. Soon, he misses his court date and the bondsman comes to claim the house. Ree has a week to find her missing dad, otherwise, they will be living in tents.
The Dolly clan is like many drug clans: hicks, backstabbers, low-lifes, and family means little when it comes to drug money. Ree has to go to various relatives to asking about her dad's whereabouts, all claim to know nothing. When she tries to see the grand-daddy elder Dolly, a mean SOB, she gets beat up by his women protectors. Sounds like the Ozarks! Her dad's brother, a whack job strung out on speed, safes here from death. Then, one day, the women folk show up at her door wanting to prove to her that rumors about her dad's death are true. They claim to know where his body is. So, the elder women and Ree go out to a lake at night (why? day would be nice) get in a boat and row to a site.
This is wear I thought Ree was going to be killed. The woman tells her to fish for her dad using her hands and Ree leans over feels something. She pulls the arm up. A chain saw is started. Ree asks, "what are you doing"?. The elder states, "You need proof that your daddy is dead, cut off his hands". So it goes. While the scene sounds horrific, viewers see ZERO anything. No blood, no hand, no body. It has got to be the cleanest hatchet body part ever! With both hands in a bag of her daddy's, Ree walks into the the police station and hands it over to them for fingerprints.
This gruesome evidence saves Ree & family's house. Daddy is dead (was he ever alive?). Soon, the bondsman comes and hands Ree a good chunk of money probably out of pity. Finally, the movie ends.
If Jennifer Lawrence had not been in this movie, it would be a flop. She had the main role and dominated the movie. The movie is worth seeing just because of her acting ability for a teen. Amazing! Like she "made" this movie, she also "made" Hunger games what it is.
I give it 2.5 stars.