Friday, July 30, 2010

A New Look and a New Start

I'm back!  With a new fresh look to the blog and a new resolve to write more about this thing that I love - movies!  So let's get going.

First up is a small film that I kept seeing wonderful reviews about called:
"Winter's Bone" 

This indie film is based on the novel of the same name written by Daniel Woodrell, and directed by Debra Granik, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Anne Rosellini.  It is set in the Ozark Mountains in a time period that I assume is the present but it gives me great pause about the state of our society if it is.  Ree Dolly (the heart-breaking and tough Jennifer Lawrence) is the oldest of three children whose father has disappeared, leaving Ree, her siblings, and her mother who won't speak, to fend for themselves.  Ree does everything for the family until she receives the news from the local Sheriff that her father put their home up for collateral for his bail and if he doesn't show for his court hearing, they will lose the house.  Ree goes on a quest to find her father to bring him to the hearing herself.  She must face some of the most vile people you can imagine on this quest as her father was involved in the making of meth in the backwoods of the Ozarks and these people do not offer up information lightly.  Her uncle, Teardrop (John Hawkes, who was so good in "Deadwood"), comes to tell her that he thinks her father has been murdered, which would negate the bail, letting Ree and her family keep their home.  The sheer force of this young girl as she encounters drug dealers and the women who support and defend them, is nothing short of astonishing.  The depiction of the society in these woods is reminiscent of "Deliverance" and it will haunt you, just as "Deliverance" did me as a young girl of 15.  Jennifer Lawrence is an actor of great depth and she presents Ree's predicament and turmoil over wanting to find her father, but also hoping he is dead at the same time, with a subtle nuance and she does most of her acting with just her expressions and the tone of her voice.  John Hawkes is always good in his roles and he does not disappoint here.  He is also playing a character who is torn between two things - his allegiance to the drug lords and his duty to his family.  It's not a happy story but it is one that will touch your heart, and you will want to take Ree and her family out of those woods to a safer place.  That is what a good movie does - takes you places you wouldn't ordinarily go and it makes you love the characters in those places.  This small film does just that.

Next up:  A blockbuster that was just a mess and another kid's film that surprised and delighted me.  Mainstream Hollywood should be listening!!

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