Winter’s Bone (2010) Review

The OSCAR NOMINATED film Winter’s Bone is a simple cliched story centering on stereotypical backwoods characters that borders on being offensive. It also has a level of ambiguity like The White Ribbon (which I also hated). If I’m going to watch your movie, give me an ending. It doesn’t have to be in concrete but give me an ending. Like the White Ribbon, this sets up somewhat of a mystery and then leaves with one character claiming to know “Who dunnit” (using the fake sounding dialect of this film), and then leaves the audience to wonder who that may be. I can watch news stories like that. I don’t pay to see films that do that. It’s lazy and stupid. The fact that the daughter doesn’t question who that may be also speaks of the filmmakers view that this particular segment of society is completely devoid of morality or intelligence.

Practically every character in the film is not just uneducated but mean, crazy, sinister, sloooooow talking, unreasonable, drug addled, irrational, unaccommadating, criminal and the stronger the faux Southern accent, the dumber the character. And I mean duuuuummm with no B.  I know I’ve made similar omments on similar films, but if the shoe fits…. This is a film with names like Thump and Teardrop and there’s a family portrayed here that could have been switched out with the Sawyer family of a famous slasher franchise with minimal changes. The family beats the lead and are ready to kill her at one point. Not one of them is portrayed with a conscience. And who else have they killed?

The protagonist played by Jennifer Lawrence and has EVERYTHING going against her. She frowns the entire film. That’s acting. Her Deddy’s (yes, I spelled it with an E) gone and because of that, the family’s going to lose their home. The film moves at a snail’s crawl, mostly because the filmmakers are trying to stretch a thin story to a maximum running time. It lingers on many unnecessary moments like a cow mooing. This became increasingly difficult to get through. Boring and didn’t seem bleak so much as a parody of bleak.

I imagine that the reason the lead actress is nominated for an Oscar says more about what Hollywood thinks of the South and po white trash than about actual believable characters. The ending (the last 20 odd minutes) is completely braindead, PREDICTABLE and I would say anticilmactic, but the film never builds any tension in the first place. Even the music in this is terrible. What a crap movie and a waste of time. It seems that recent filmmakers have studied and are trying to emulate the Coen brothers’ No Country For Old Men. That one however, HAD A POINT. Films like this do not. Now excuse me, I have to go find the person that recommended this to me as a great movie and choke him out.

1 of 5

And YES, this made my 10 Worst of 2010, so I guess I don’t see eye to eye with Hollywood yet again. Keep in mind how bad this has to be for me to actually want to revise a ‘Worst of’ list. It’s a pain sometimes, but I’ll endure the aggravation. I NEED to warn people.


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