At only 20 years of age, actress Jennifer Lawrence delivers a performance in much-acclaimed Winter's Bone far beyond her youth. The story which follows a 17 year-old girl Ree (Lawrence) who is on a mission to locate her Drug-dealing father through the Ozarks, trying to gather clues to his whereabouts from dangerous members of his network and estranged family members. Her father had used their family home a deposit for his Bail, then failing to show-up for his hearing as promised. Ree, who cares for her disabled Mother, younger Brother and Sister has no choice but to take ownership of the matter in order to save their home. But will she make it without paying a price for those bridges her father burned?
Screenwriter/Director Debra Granik craftily paints a picture of Ree's father through some excellent storytelling and multi-layered performances from the supporting cast. Standouts in the cast of relative unknowns include Dale Dickey who plays Merab, the no-nonsense wife of powerful Ranch Owner and John Hawkes as Teardrop, the tough-talking uncle of Ree who in ways fills the fatherly void.
Roadside Attractions' Winter's Bone is gritty, raw and engaging - an understated look of the human condition in being forced to fight for survival. Despite a few lulls, it is a rewarding experience. Expect big things of Lawrence. It is now in wide release. Grade: A-