Reviewed by: Steve Warburton
|Featuring:||Jennifer Lawrence (Ree Dolly), John Hawkes (Teardrop), Kevin Breznahan (Little Arthur), Dale Dickey (Merab), Garret Dillahunt (Sheriff Baskin), Shelley Waggener (Sonya), See all »|
|Producer:||Anonymous Content, Winter’s Bone Productions, Kathryn Dean, See all »|
Let’s just get right down to the nitty gritty, shall we? Here’s what Christians will find the most offensive about this movie: the language. There are some bad words, including at least one use of GD, but I don’t recall Christ’s name ever being taken in vain.
There’s some violence, too. A teenaged girl gets beat up pretty bad (that’s not a spoiler, don’t worry.) But the big question here is: Why does she get beat up?
To start at the beginning: Seventeen-year-old Ree Dolly lives in a rundown house with her two younger siblings and a mother who is slipping into an ever-worsening form of dementia. Ree’s the one who looks after the house: cooking the meals, getting the kids off to school, etc. One day, the sheriff shows up on the doorstep and informs Ree that her father missed his court date. The worse problem: He put the family’s house up as bail. So if he doesn’t turn up for his next court date, the house becomes the property of the state.
So Ree sets out to find her father. She talks to lots of people—backwoods people, I suppose. Most of them seem to be getting by, but only because they have their thumbs in a few illegal pies. They could help Ree, but leading her to her father could also land them in some pretty big trouble, too.
If you can get past the language, which is very tame by many movie standards, “Winter’s Bone” is a very good movie. Its opening scenes depict a very bleak world… somewhere in the Midwest in either late fall or early spring. The leaves are off the trees, the scenery is lifeless, the world is washed of color. No one smiles in this movie, because no one, except for the young kids, has much reason to smile. The kids are happy, because they’re too young to fall into that trap that happiness = a whole lot of material possessions. We come to realize that these two kids are really what Ree is fighting for.
“Winter’s Bone” is a good morality tale. It reminds us that love always demands sacrifices.
Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Mild / Sex/Nudity: None
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.