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Winter's Bone

Updated on November 12, 2012

Winter's Bone

If you haven't seen Winter's Bone, see it now, before the Oscars. With Oscar buzz surrounding this new director, Winter's Bone is a must-see. Follow the story of Ree Dolly (played by captivating Jennifer Lawrence) as she searches in earnest for her drug-dealing father, while juggling her life in the stark backdrop of the Ozarks of Missouri.

A synopsis from film review site, Rotten Tomatoes gives this description:

"An unflinching Ozark Mountain girl hacks through dangerous social terrain as she hunts down her drug-dealing father while trying to keep her family intact. WINTER'S BONE, an official selection of the 2010 Sundance Film Festival's Dramatic Competition, was the recipient of the Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic and the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award."

WINTER'S BONE - Official US Theatrical Trailer in HD

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Debra Granik
Debra Granik

Meet The Director Of Winter's Bone

Debra Granik

Debra Granik (born February 2, 1963) is an American independent filmmaker. She has won a series of awards at the Sundance Film Festival, including Best Short in 1998 for Snake Feed (her first film, made while a student at New York University), the Dramatic Directing Award in 2004 for her first feature-length film, Down to the Bone (a tale of addiction she co-scripted with Richard Lieske), and the Grand Jury Prize for Drama in 2010 and Prix du jury at Deauville American Film Festival 2010 for her second feature, Winter's Bone.

Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Granik grew up in the suburbs of Washington D.C. She received her B.A. from Brandeis University in 1985, where she majored in politics. She later earned an MFA from the graduate film program at New York University (Tisch School of the Arts). Granik is the granddaughter of broadcast pioneer Theodore Granik (1907-1970), founder-moderator of radio-TV's long-run panel discussion program, The American Forum of the Air.

Interviewed by Jeremiah Kipp, Granik gave an overview of the challenges involved in doing a film about addiction:

The traditional storyline in an American film is usually in the form of a V shape. I am oversimplifying, but we see someone tumbling down, they hit bottom, and then they rise up again and find redemption. Anyone who personally, tangentially or culturally knows anything about addiction is aware that it resembles an EKG. Up and down, up and down. Very few people ever get clean on the first or second attempt. For many people, it's something they have to try over and over again. You get knocked down and ask all the ethical questions like how many chances do you give a person? When is the last chance? How many chances do they get? Can you imagine how difficult it is to fit that in a feature-length film? But those are the questions that are worth asking... The reason why boils down to the word "dark". It is the scariest four-letter word in American storytelling and in this culture. Our film had a strong reception in Europe and achieved distribution, but that was not the case here. We received so many responses like, "We love the film, but we cannot do anything with it or we'll lose our shirts. We're sorry." The intervention comes from people like Laemmle/Zeller Films. Every couple of years, some mavericks take on this challenge of distributing so-called un-distributable films. They take those films on a small run and allow them to see the light of day. Those efforts are what give a film like Down to the Bone a chance to have a life of some kind.

Meet the Artists: Debra Granik

Movies By Debra Granik - Keep a copy for yourself

Meet The Main Character

Jennifer Lawrence, who plays Ree Dolly

Lawrence was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky. By the age of 14, she had decided to pursue an acting career and persuaded her parents to take her to New York City to find a talent agent. Although she had no training or experience, she received high praise from the agency for which she auditioned. She graduated from high school two years early in order to begin acting.

Lawrence starred in Guillermo Arriaga’s directorial debut The Burning Plain, opposite Charlize Theron and Kim Basinger. Her performance in the film earned her the Marcello Mastroianni Award for best young emerging actor/actress during the Venice Film Festival in 2008.

She was part of the main cast of the TBS comedy The Bill Engvall Show as Lauren Pearson. Written and created by Bill Engvall and Michael Leeson, the show is set in a Denver suburb and follows the life of ‘Bill Pearson’ (played by Engvall), a family counselor whose own family could use a little dose of counseling. The series was canceled in 2009 after having aired three seasons.

Lawrence's other film credits include a lead role in Lori Petty's The Poker House opposite Selma Blair and Bokeem Woodbine as well as roles in Devil You Know and Garden Party. Her television credits include roles on Cold Case, Medium, and Monk. She auditioned for the roles of Bella Swan and Rosalie Hale in the Twilight film series but was not offered either part.

Lawrence has the lead role, frequently cited as a "breakout performance" for her, in Debra Granik's Winter's Bone (screened at the Sundance Film Festival in 2010). She portrays a seventeen-year-old girl in the rural Ozarks caring for her mentally-ill mother and her younger brother and sister when she discovers that her father put their house and land up as a bond for a court appearance to which he failed to appear.

She is featured in the music video for the song "The Mess I Made", from the album Losing Sleep by Parachute. Lawrence is set to star in Mark Tonderai thriller film House at the End of the Street. She will also co-star with Jodie Foster and Mel Gibson in The Beaver, a dark comedy, and will play the role of Mystique in X-Men: First Class.

Lawrence states that she has never taken drama classes or acting lessons, simply relying on her instincts when playing a role. She lived in New York City for the first few years of her career but currently resides in Santa Monica, California.

Jennifer Lawrence (Winter's Bone) Interview

Jennifer Lawrence - TV and Movies

Jennifer Lawrence and Debra Granik on 'Winter's Bone'

Comments are appreciated!

What Did You Think Of Winter's Bone? - Share your thoughts!

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      grannysage 5 years ago

      I saw it and really liked it but you have to be in the mood because it is dark and emotional at times. It is a good story. Too bad it didn't win an Oscar but it did win some other award which you could add here to freshen it up a bit.

    • LissaKlar LM profile image

      LissaKlar LM 6 years ago

      I kind of want to see it but I have to be in the mood for a "disturbing" movie - as your commenter below said. Great review though!

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 6 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      I thought Winter's Bone was disturbing but really good. An unusual movie for sure.