With the expansion of the Best Picture category to 10 films (I’d like to see them go back to 5, but that’s for another post), it’s easy to overlook the movie “Winter’s Bone.” No mega-budget. No “A”-list stars. And definitely not a warm-and-fuzzy story.
Based on Dan Woodrell’s dark and twisty novel, “Winter’s Bone” is about a young girl who must go in search of her meth-dealing father in order to hold on to her family home. Jennifer Lawrence is utterly compelling as the film’s centerpiece, but it’s the setting – the oh-so-grim Ozarks – that steals the show. Talk about stepping into a place you’d rather not visit. Still, there are real places like the one depicted in the movie; they exist and they’re right here in the good old U.S. – places where people like Jennifer Lawrence’s character struggle to put food on the table every day.
I first heard about “Winter’s Bone” from my literary agent, who represents Woodrell too. She told me his book had been optioned and that the film was actually getting produced – AND that it was being screened at Sundance. Not only did it make it to Sundance but it won the festival’s top prize, so I couldn’t wait to see it. Michael and I went the day it opened. Despite his affection for “The King’s Speech” and “The Social Network,” “Winter’s Bone” was his favorite movie of the year, hands down.
Here’s a piece from today’s Huffington Post reminding us just how good “Winter’s Bone” is. If you haven’t seen it, see it!