Last Saturday ( 8/14), due to Ann's persistence, we saw the absolutely wonderful Winter's Bone. If you haven't seen it (in Manhattan at the moment it's only @ The Angelika Film Center) go, it's truly amazing. For a while it seems unwaveringly depressing, but that's not where it ends up.
Winter's Bone is about an extended family in the Ozarks of Southwestern Missouri. In particular it focuses on Ree Dolly, a 17-year-old girl, whose father has been in prison and since his release has gone missing. That's important because he has put up the family house as collateral for his bond, so it will be confiscated if he doesn't show up for his upcoming court date. Ree is unwaveringly resolute in her pursuit of her father to get him to court to save their homestead. The rest of the Dolly clan is equally determined to prevent her from finding out what happened to her dad and cover up their criminal activities ( I guess cooking crystal meth has replaced moonshining in the Ozarks). Until the Dolly women join together to resolve the situation. Ree's mother is ill and completely dysfunctional and she has two younger- under 10 - siblings a brother and sister to care for. Ree is the absolute centerpiece of the film; everything functions around her. She is played by Jennifer Lawrence, who should be nominated for an Oscar, or all those people have their heads up their asses.
To give you an idea how special her performance is, here are two pictures of her: one from Winter's Bone:
and one of her in a recent Esquire Magazine:
She plays a similarly dressed down role in the new Jody Foster film in which she unfortunately co-stars with Mel Gibson, so it may never be released. After that she will be the new naked blue Mystique in the completely recast X-Men prequel (remember Rebecca Romijn).
The entire cast of Winter's Bone (most of whom I have never seen before) is wonderful. We believed everyone was who they said they were and not actors. This is, I think, so far the best film we've seen this year and that's saying a lot when last week we saw Inception and the week before The Girl who Played with Fire both of which are also very special films.
The simple story is go see Winter's Bone you won't regret it.