To be honest, at the start I never really knew very much about Winter's Bone apart from it has been receiving a lot of positive reviews that has been named Oscar material and a contender for Best Picture so I couldn't hesitate to watch this and there was high expectations. However when I watched it, I did like it but I wouldn't say that this is worthy of Best Picture. Well, that is what I think anyway. The bits where I really enjoyed it was that the pacing of the film was normal and it didn't drag on and it didn't feel rushed either, there was a lot of suspense and it was a very dark adventure that is beyond any other than I have seen.
With an absent father and a withdrawn and depressed mother, 17 year-old Ree Dolly keeps her family together in a dirt poor rural area. She's taken aback however when the local Sheriff tells her that her father put up their house as collateral for his bail and unless he shows up for his trial in a week's time, they will lose it all. She knows her father is involved in the local drug trade and manufactures crystal meth but anywhere she goes the message is the same: stay out of it and stop poking your nose in other people's business. She refuses to listen, even after her father's brother, Teardrop, tells her he's probably been killed. She pushes on, putting her own life in danger, for the sake of her family until the truth, or enough of it, is revealed.
Jennifer Lawrence's performance as Ree Dolly was just incredible! I would say it is perhaps one of the greatest breakthrough performances of all time and because of this, she rightly deserves a Best Leading Actress Oscar nomination and I'll be damned if she isn't nominated. Then again, she might only just get the nomination like Melissa Leo did for Frozen River two years ago even though she wasn't a strong contender that year.
Debra Granik directed this one in a lot of ways like a road film like The Road and Into The Wild with quite a calm and suspenseful pace at the same time in terms of events happening. She also showed us a beautiful side as well with beautiful landmarks of filming on-set. I mean, yeah it looks pretty rough throughout most of the film but at the same time, it looks beautiful. There were some moments where you could identify Winter's Bone as a horror film due to the suspense and the rough neighbourhoods. It's not for the faint of heart. The script was fantastically written! The character development was about right for me and the pacing was about right also so therefore it was handled really well.
Overall, Winter's Bone is a film that I did really enjoy but don't think quite deserved all the critical acclaim that it got. It is quite a scary tragic tale that was brilliantly written and directed. Jennifer Lawrence needs that Oscar nomination and I'll be angry if she doesn't get it. Not quite one of the best films of 2010 but definitely not one that needn't be missed!