Winter’s Bone (2010)


Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Realistic; believable; boring.

Man, January is a horrible month for movies, and I don’t know exactly why. I mean, winter is the season you actually want to stay in, cuddle by the fireplace and watch a movie…or is that only me? Well, whether you want to stay in or not, the weather outside has recently been so bad that authorities have closed off roads and made it illegal to even be driving outside right now. At least, that’s how it is around here right now anyways. So I decided what better way to avoid the freezing cold temperatures then to stay in and watch a little Jennifer Lawrence in one of her first films that got her recognition, Winter’s Bone. Having seen it, I’m a little confused as to why it’s seen as brilliant. The movie is snore-worthy for sure, even if it is done really well.

This tale is about a young girl, Ree (Lawrence) who is barely making ends meet for her younger brother and sister. They live in a cabin in the woods with her sick mother, and she basically has to tend to all of their needs 24/7, and for a 17 year old, that’s a lot to tackle. Anyways, her drug-dealing father is wanted by the police, and he used their home as collateral for his bail. If he doesn’t make it to his trial, Ree and her family will be forced to leave the house. So she must go on an adventure of sorts to find her father, dead or alive, and keep her family somewhat stable.

For most of this film, I was under the impression that Ree was actually the mother of her younger sister, which would mean she gave birth at 11…which didn’t make any sense. Because I was so confused, I think that distracted me from the message the movie was trying to get out there. Obviously, it had something to do with the importance of family and yatta yatta, I just found myself having a lot of trouble enjoying the movie. I’ve seen it everywhere, people find this film an incredible bore-fest, and it’s not hard to understand why…but first, let’s try to distinguish why people actually like it.

According to Rotten Tomatoes, this film received a 94%, which I believe is pure insanity. The good things I do have to say about the flick are as follows. The movie had a two million dollar budget, which is honestly nothing in a film market. Robert Downey Jr. was paid 25 times that amount alone for The Avengers. They had to split this measly $2 million amongst the entire crew, and for that reason alone, this film is impressive. You can tell it is low-budget, but at the same time, there was someone with real talent behind the cameras. They took what they had and at least made it look good.

Then, you have an assortment of fabulous actors. Truly, this must have been the leading inspiration for casting Lawrence in The Hunger Games, because everyone performed incredibly well…I never doubted any of the performances here…for such a low paycheck…that’s impressive as well. So it looks good and is performed great, and I’ll even say the simplistic plot probably helped out magnificently as well, but what it cannot escape is being boring.

You can have the best acting in the world and still be stuck with a boring film. I had the same problem with Lincoln. I thought behind the scenes, they did so great, brilliant really…but as an “entertaining” movie, the movie significantly falters. It’s about a girl looking for her dad, and everywhere she goes, people tell her she best be going home and forgetting it all. It escalades, yes, but not quick enough to keep my attention. The movie feels really long, but in reality…it’s as average in length as films get to nowadays. Look, the only thing that keeps you interested long enough is the mystery of what really happened to Ree’s father. You gotta watch in order to find out, otherwise….I don’t know…this could fall off people’s radar. Heck, you could just skip to the end if you really want to. I won’t stop you.

The Good:

Behind the scenes, this movie is terrific. I have mad respect for the jobs well done by everyone on board, I truly mean that.

The Bad:
The movie is just…boring. It has a very humdrum attitude that never lets up, and I just thought that the material in the film could have been approached in a different light, something more dangerous and thrilling…instead…humdrum.

Memorable Quote:

Megan: What are we ever gonna do with you, baby girl?

Ree: Kill me I guess.

Megan: That idea’s been said already. Got any others?

Ree: Help me. Nobody’s said that idea yet, have they?


5 thoughts on “Winter’s Bone (2010)

  1. I like this one a lot, and think it a very strong character-based drama about a girl risking everything for answers.

    But I appreciate that some movies just aren’t for everyone.


  2. In terms of the lack of thrills and danger, I can see how it can be boring yet I really liked this movie and was invested in what Ree went through to help her family and find out what happened to her dad.


    1. I always love to see people’s thoughts in contrast to my own. From what I’ve been hearing from others, maybe I was in the wrong mindset when watching it. Maybe I was watching in the wrong setting. I watched it bundled up on my computer monitor with headphones instead of my TV. Lots of factors that probably could have made the viewing experience better. Thanks for the comment!


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