It was riveting, and if you get a chance to see it and can handle some pretty strong stuff, the performance by Jennifer Lawrence is simply amazing. She plays Ree Dolly, a 17-year-old who is raising her two younger siblings and caring for her mentally absent mother. You find out that her father is a meth dealer and has put up their house as collateral to bail himself out of jail. He disappears soon after, and she needs to find him or all of them will be thrown out. I found that Rotten Tomatoes (my favorite place to find reviews) gives it a 95% freshness rating. (The link takes you to the review page.) A review by Michael Smith in World Scene sums it up well:
The character that Lawrence creates, fearless and full of moxie, is nothing less than a heroine. Some people live in the middle of nowhere to do things they don't want people to see; reports of rural crime and meth labs fill newspaper pages. But the real stories are those like Ree's, of a selfless young woman fighting for nothing less than the survival of herself and three other family members who may or may not break free of the area's cycle of drugs and violence.I was fascinated by the actress playing Ree and found that she just had her twentieth birthday and has starred in several other parts already. I found a really good interview with her on Black Book, with a title I couldn't resist: Jennifer Lawrence dishes on 'Winter's Bone' and stripping for Esquire. The film won the Grand Jury Award at the Sundance Film Festival, and when she was asked (in the article) how she felt when she heard about the win, she said,
I just started bawling. I had such an ‘actress’ moment. I was there for the premiere of the movie, but then I went home. My mom was looking at it online, and then I started hearing Parker Posey describing the movie, and I just bawled. And then Lauren Sweetser, who plays Gail in the movie—we became real-life best friends on the set and have been ever since—we called each other and just started screaming.
If you get a chance to see the movie, it's worth it, although country noir is not easy fare, by any means. It is not my favorite genre. However, I got to experience this life and forgot I was even watching a movie, I was so engrossed. I'd also be interested to know what you thought of it.