Tag Archives: Debra Granik

Winter’s Bone

Winter’s Bone, a low-budget critical darling follows Ree Dolly (Jennifer Lawrence); a 17 year old girl stuck taking care of her two younger siblings and her mentally crippled mother. Her father Jessup, a meth cooker/pot dealer, has gone missing after putting the house up for his bond. Ree has a week to find him or a bail bondsman will take the property. Resembling Dorothy Allison’s semi-autobiographical novel Bastard Out of Carolina, Winter’s Bone explores poor, rural people living in the Ozarks – their way of life, the dreariness of their surrounds, the desperation, the patriarchal family structure, and most importantly, the drug culture. Allison’s novel takes place a few decades ago and most the men are alcoholics; Winter’s Bone is contemporary, demonstrating the effects of crystal meth on rural America. Meth is a central theme in the movie, a tie that binds people together and influences the men’s behavior. That doesn’t mean the story focuses on the men in Ree’s life, but the women’s struggles are based on male actions. The film portrays a very sad life, where motivations and rationales unfamiliar to city dwellers come to the forefront and ask outsiders to confront a different way of life.
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