This is a very ugly film, in its essence and its style. There's a lot of beautiful scenery, but that's only a backdrop for the utter poverty in rural Missouri. "Winter's Bone" was nominated for four Academy Awards, and I have to admit that the acting is impressive, but I have a bad taste in my mouth when I watch films like this.
17-year-old Ree Dolly (Jennifer Lawrence) has to look after her younger brother and sister. Sonny is 12, Ashlee is 6. She also has to look after her mother who is mentally ill and unable to talk. What about her father? He's been gone for over a year, and he's not missed. He worked in the family business of manufacturing drugs, everything from marijuana to amphetamines and cocaine.
Ree finds out that her father was arrested for drug-related offences, but now he's skipped bail. The bail bondsman comes to tell Ree that her father used the family house as security for the bail, so if he doesn't appear in court for the trial the house will be taken away from them.
Ree visits her relatives to find out where her father is. Eventually they admit that they killed him because he snitched on them to get a lenient sentence. Now there's no hope of him appearing in court.
None of the people in the film are pleasant. Some are slightly better than the others, but they're all rotten to the core. Maybe Ree is the best of them, but even she has her faults. She teaches her 12-year-old brother how to shoot so he can defend himself. Or maybe some of my American readers don't consider that to be bad.
This is an example of my film ratings being subjective. My definition of a 3-star rating, as stated in my sidebar, is "Okay, matter of taste". If you like this film leave me a comment and tell me why you like it. You can even write a full review if you want to. But it's not the sort of film I like.
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