Winter’s Bone
2010
****
Director: Debra Granik
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, John Hawkes, Garret Dillahunt, Shelley Waggener, Lauren Sweetser, Kevin Breznahan, Ron Hall

A powerful, low-key drama set in rural Missouri which is riddled with poverty and methamphetamine. 17-year-old Ree cares for her two younger siblings and her catatonic mother. Her drug-dealing father has vanished while out on bail and the family are about to lose their home if he doesn’t show up. Jennifer Lawrence is wonderful as the gutsy, resourceful and persistent Ree who tries to get help from her family, friends and neighbours, but faces hostility every step of the way. John Hawkes is equally strong as her ambiguous uncle. This grim and gritty family drama cum crime mystery flawlessly captures the claustrophobia of a closed community; it looks, sounds, feels and smells of authenticity. This illusion is broken only by the occasional familiar actor, and the final scene which feels like a needless cop-out. Based on Daniel Woodrell’s novel.