"Winter's Bone" isn't even a character study let alone a thriller.
|Ree (Jennifer Lawrence) is one tough girl. Her father is a convicted drug dealer, her mother is a drugged out imbecile, her neighbours are all drug abusing ass-holes, she has to raise her younger brother and sister all by herself, and.... Oh, I'm sorry, were you expecting there to be an "and", like some kind of plot? Well no, there is no point. Just that life sucks for Ree. How about a character study? No, not much to these characters either. Just that life sucks for Ree.
Directed by: Debra Granik
Screenplay by: Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence and John Hawkes
The small plot which they were thinking about giving to us is that Ree needs to find her father. A third of the way through, she comes to the conclusion that her father is either alive or dead. Wow, now that is brilliant deductive power. For anyone who could have guessed before the film started that her father is either alive or dead, then I think you might be too smart for "Winter's Bone".
The massive hype for this film seems to stem from the fact that it has great performances, in a richly detailed atmosphere, and was efficiently filmed on a low budget. Those are all positive attributes to have, but there are so many independent movies that are very effectively well made on a low budget with an actual story and characters, that comparatively, "Winter's Bone" is one of the worst films of the year, not one of the best.