Sunday, November 6, 2011

Film Review: Winter's Bone

Nominated for four of the big Oscar awards in 2011 (Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay) I had high hopes for this film.

These hopes were minimally met.

Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, and New York magazine all called this film "horrific" and "unforgettable".  There is little here that is truly horrific beyond what you'd find in the average after school special, nor is there much here that I will remember for much time.

Jennifer Lawrence's portrayal of the female protagonist is well done but she's just too clean to be present among the meth-head filth she is surrounded by...she's too Hollywood, wearing borderline Abercrombie and Fitch flannel clothing and not looking or really sounding the part of a true redneck female.

The other characters are more in line with what I'd expect--missing teeth, premature aging, covered in filth, etc. and were the most realistic portions of the film.  I rather enjoyed the portrayal of white trash in this film since so much white trash prides themselves on being disgusting, fat, dumb and lucky to shop at WalMart, its good to show them in a negative light as they are here.

That being said, I can't get beyond the rather pedestrian story this film is crafted around.  Lawrence's character is a teenager who has to grow up too fast because her father is a meth-cooker who ratted out his partners and got killed while her mom is a mental vegetable.  Left to care for her younger siblings she teaches them their proper school skills and home skills, filling the role of mother and father, all while trying to hunt down what happened to her father in order to save their home.  Yawn...this is a story that has been told and retold and the only thing new here is that the film latches on to what is just the latest scourge of the underclass.

No comments: