18 of #52FilmsByWomen: Winter’s Bone

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Winter’s Bone (2010, Directed by Debra Grenik, written by Debra Grenik and Anne Rosellini)

[No. 18 of 52 in #52FilmsByWomen]

In a rural town in Missouri, Ree Dolly (Jennifer Lawrence) plays a 17-year-old girl struggling to take care of her family against all odds. Her father is missing, and she risks losing her house to the government because of that. So she goes looking for him, looking up his various criminal contacts and gets into various troubles along the way.

Jennifer Lawrence is great as Ree…looking at American Hustle, Joy, and to some extent, Hunger Games, she’s really good at playing a young person being forced to accept the role of a grownup in order to take care of children. And always, it seems, in a different time period or social context.

In the case of Winter’s Bone, it is a rural American community, where one gets used to drug dealers and gangs. Some imprints of gun culture are noticeable. In one scene, Ree’s uncle casually fiddles with a handgun that was lying around on a table. In another, Ree teaches her 12-year old and 6-year old siblings to use a squirrel gun for hunting.

Ree’s world is a community that has been caricatured a lot in popular media nowadays. So it’s nice to see an actual portrayal of this part of the country where the characters are somewhat believable people.

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