By: Henry J. Fromage (Three Beers) –
A young woman taking care of her family sets out to find out what happened to her meth-cooking father.Pretty much no hilarity ensues.
Even the most quality movies about the poor rural Southern white demographic tend to focus on this sort of thing:
I’m hoping that this doesn’t happen too often, and I have to toast Winter’s Bone for shooting a little higher.While life isn’t exactly puppies and rainbows…
Image via flickr by ::reflecting truth::
Wouldn’t it be nice, though
…a more realistic approach is taken by the director and scriptwriter.
The sets and cinematography are great, putting you right inside the world of rural Missouri.
© 2010 bsphotographs.com
Even if you’d prefer not to be
There’s an artistic sensibility, in particular a dream sequence, that opens up the film in an imaginative sense and attempts to connect with the viewer through more than just straight narrative… so a little more legit than just doing this again:
A final shout-out goes to the cast.Newcomer Jennifer Lawrence blows up the screen, reminding me a lot of Ellen Page in her dramatic roles.John Hawke is great as Teardrop, her drug-addicted uncle rediscovering his morality.Oh, and Patty the Daytime Hooker’s in there as well.
On the flip side, performances are pretty much all that keeps the film afloat.The story isn’t as interesting as it thinks it is, and the novelty of the setting and situation only take you so far.So, if you can’t get any enjoyment out of watching good acting, this might not be your cup of tea.
This beer goes to the fact that this sort of film has been done before, and better.The setting of the story is original enough, but I can’t help but think of films such as last year’s amazing Ballast or anything Rahmid Bahrani’s done who’ve used the same techniques and style and received one tenth of the recognition thatWinter’s Bone is getting. Good news for the exposure for this type of film, but a bit of a shame for its forerunners.
© 2010 dreamstime.com
A crying shame.
Hopefully this one opens up doors for similar filmmakers, and it’s worth a watch for Jennifer Lawrence’s star-making performance alone.
Bonus Drinking Game
Take a drink: each time a run-down house or car is shown
Take a drink: whenever Jennifer Lawrence gets yelled at or screwed over by a redneck
Drink a shot: every time Patty the Daytime Hooker makes an appearance