Review: Winter’s Bone

Review: Winter’s Bone

Winter’s Bone is a straight-shooting drama sprinkled with a little mystery and deception in a remote location that becomes a hostile character of its own. Ree Dolly (Jennifer Laurence) is only 17 years old, but the weight of her family rests on her shoulders. She is forced to set out and track down her father […]

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Winter’s Bone is a straight-shooting drama sprinkled with a little mystery and deception in a remote location that becomes a hostile character of its own.

Ree Dolly (Jennifer Laurence) is only 17 years old, but the weight of her family rests on her shoulders. She is forced to set out and track down her father who put their house up for his bail bond then disappeared. If she fails, Ree, her mother and two younger siblings will be turned out into the Ozark woods. Challenging her outlaw kin’s code of silence and risking her life, Ree wades through the lies, evasions and threats offered up by her relatives and begins to piece together the truth.

Laurence is a phenomenal talent. Ree is so hardened by the cards she’s been dealt and Laurence’s quiet determination and forceful looks are exceptional in portraying her mostly silent suffering. On the other hand, Ree’s rare moments of warmth are entirely genuine and her connection to the younger actors is sincere.

The story, though slow, is engaging and unfolds steadily. Ree’s journey tests her in more ways than one, pushing the limits of her patience, strength and courage. As she travels from one house to another, the plot becomes thicker and the status of her father less clear. Each new home introduces audiences to new, curious characters, most of whom are quite intimidating and elusive. Answers are disclosed gradually, while others are never revealed. It’s easy to empathize with Ree and the difficult situation she’s in, making for a captivating film experience.


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