Friday, February 11, 2011

My Weekend Crush

When I started to watch “Winter’s Bone,” I was worried I wasn’t going to make it through 100 minutes of poverty, violence and depression. And I was also really scared they might end up eating the horse, or one of those dogs. But I stuck with the aggressively stark look at rural life in the Ozarks and was glad I did. Not just for the honest story it told about life on the edges of society, but for the carefully calibrated performance by Jennifer Lawrence. Nothing in Jennifer’s resume would really suggest she could pull off such a feat. It’s not that she was bad before, it’s that most of her credits were intensely middling: “The Bill Engvall Show,” “Not Another High School Show,’ guest spots on “Medium.” Nothing that would scream: I’m about to earn my first Oscar nomination by the age of 20.

Yet in “Winter’s Bone” she is in nearly every scene and remains quietly riveting throughout. It’s not that her part is necessarily showy – Hailee Steinfeld’s role in “True Grit” is more of a standard-issue showcase. But it’s that she remains so level and determined. This is a woman who, despite everything the universe has thrown at her – will not be denied. She is going to find her father, dead or alive. You can’t starve it out of her. You can’t scare it out of her. You certainly can’t beat it out of her. Though, Lord, do they try. And, I don’t know about you, but I got a definite vibe from her Ree Dolly. There was just something about her walk, and the way her best friend always called her Sweetpea. After a little research I found my ping was justified, in the book there is more of an implied relationship between the two young women. But its unrealized subtext ultimately doesn’t detract from a film that is as at once inspiring as it is bleak. As hard as “Winter’s Bone” is to watch at times, it’s even harder to stop watching Jennifer. Happy weekend, all.


Rachelle said...

The film is really brave and as a character in the center of the attention as it is 'Ree' she really carries the film and doesn't dissapoint...and yeah she's really beautiful! (Btw - she has 'The Burning Plain', altough I didn't see it...)

Unknown said...

In the book, Ree is flat out in love with her friend, who's just had a kid with some other guy. It's stated that they've been in a relationship of sorts, and their relationship is one of the few positives in ree's otherwise crushing life. Great book, well worth a read. I had no idea about Ree's sexuality before buying it, and 2 seconds into their first scene together I was like 'hold the phone'.

Anonymous said...

I LOVED this film - And it fulfils the Bechdel ruling too. In fact, it's an ensemble piece for women - the number of men that have any visibility is minimal. It's grim, but it's real - and US films rarely show the real when it comes to poor (i.e. not rich) people. Completely unromanticized, completely gripping. My friends here in UK were gripped by this film.

The Erin Grant said...

In her little Rolling Stone profile, when she referred to her younger days as a tomboy, she said she was "dykey" it!

Anonymous said...

i see, did you read that book?

i don't know the book, so i googled.

it seems like, people commented that,

it's about the girl's journey to find better

life by finding her father to save their house.


okay~ generally literature subject is like,

you know something poverty, heartbreak,

or criminal, something unusual but appealing

people's senses. better word comes up my mind

exaggeration! how about that?

thanks for the posting,

i will try to see it when the dvd comes out.

Chrissy said...

You should read the book. Their relationship is yet one more reason that I really rooted for Ree.

JadedRogue said...

and you were warned about the chainsaw, which is the only place my GF said a word during the movie

TheWeyrd1 said... another award nominated strong woman role that has a tinge of queer sensibility. If I were some old white hollywood guy, I'd be saying, "See, I told you it's bad to have women in strong roles, they're all lesbians!" Fortunately, I'm not an old white hollywood guy...heh!

shrink on the couch said...

Winter's Bone is next in my queue. I hope to compare notes after next weekend.

Anonymous said...

Nothing in Jennifer's resume? For once, Ms Snarker I disagree with you. Her performance as Agnes in the Poker House directed by Lori Petty was very different, yet she carried that film again as a young girl trying to hold her family together against incredible odds.