I am not sure what is says about our world that the most realistic films are always incredibly bleak and grim. Winter’s Bone is not exception, filmed on location, in real homes and partially even with real people as actors, the story and film are gritty and realistic. That being said, do not expect your average run-of-the-mill melodrama about a sister rising her kids etc. Behind the superficial problems of surviving without money and a job lies haunting and terrifying visions about life in the netherzone that is Ozard. Infused with vigilantism, methcookers and wife-beaters, the setting is a study in pale blue and gloominess.
One thing which strikes me as fascinating about this movie is that is does have some sort of good ending (I am not saying happy), solving the major conflicts in the film to some degree without derailing into some sort of weird Disney Dance off.
The acting is superb but it must be said that I do have a thing for the remote North American States so I am biased when it comes to that. The accents are interesting and transport into the other world like none other. One of the best things about this film is probably the cinematography. Muted colours and almost surreal landscapes and locations. The story itself is simple but that makes it the more believable and tangible and the crux of the film is not he story but how different interested parties go about tackling the issue within the isolated microcosm of the setting.
A brilliant movie, a dark poem and haunting tale.