Winter's Bone review

A bold teenage matriarch hunts down her absent father in order to save her home and pisses off her hick, drug-dependent community in the process.

We are instantly parachuted into a bleak American backwater more commonly associated with Texas Chainsaw-like horror films but, not to take anything away from that classic, Winter’s Bone heads in a more sophisticated, although still pretty horrific, direction. The early stages of the film are a little confusing, aided by significant mumbleogue, but the absorbing story slowly unravels as the extent of the darkness of the relationships in the messed-up community clan are revealed.

The film is another example of careful attention to casting making a huge impact with scarily believable performances across the board and Jennifer Lawrence, in the scene-stealing lead, is impressively mature and utterly convincing. It is all held together by strong direction, Debra Granik exhibiting firm control and precision over an original concept that could so easily have gone very, very wrong but instead turns out to be inventive, brim-full of character and one of the most memorable films of the year.

4 out of 5

20th Sep 2010 | Official site | On IMDb