Meth cooking hillbillies and a log splitter-what could go wrong? Actually quite a bit. This story centers on 17 year old Ree Dolly, played by the highly talented Jennifer Lawrence. Ree lives with her mother and two younger siblings in rural Missouri. The family manages to get by with some help from their neighbors and relatives. Ree’s mother is severely depressed; she sits in her chair all day leaving Ree to tend to Ashlee and Sonny. She takes them to school (from which she has obviously dropped out), cooks for them, and teaches them to hunt and prepare squirrel.
Ree’s father has been arrested on various drug related charges and is awaiting trial. He has put up the Dolly’s house and property for his bond, and has disappeared. Ree has ten days to find him or the property will be forfeited and the family will be homeless.
Winter’s Bone take Ree from one dangerous situation to another in her quest to find her father. She receives help from some people, but is mostly thwarted by her own relatives and neighbors.
This movie has a constant undercurrent of violence, and I was constantly on edge, wondering how things could get worse for Ree. Jennifer Lawrence really carries this entire movie splendidly. It is only playing in smaller independent theaters so you really have to seek it out, but it’s definitely worth the effort.