Winter’s Bone is not a great film. It’s not even a good film!


“Hauntingly brilliant”-Sunday Mirror

 “A truly standout piece of work”-Empire

 “An intense and gripping thriller. The best American film since the Hurt Locker” –Uncut magazine

Whoever wrote that last one, I can only imagine was on crack at the time.


Those are just a handful from a list of the films many positive reviews, none of which mention a lack of direction, that for 1 hour 40 minutes it feels a lot longer, it has little to no character development, or that most of the film is just Jennifer Lawrence walking around.


Meh, not great. I should have bought 50/50 instead.”- Charlotte Weston, Square Eyes.


I’m giving Winters Bone 3 ½ / 10.


One point is given because it features John Hawkes. He’s a fairly small-time name, opting for more roles in smaller independent films like Martha Marcy May Marlene, and Me And You And Everyone We Know rather than big blockbusters. He’s an incredible actor, penetrative, with an endearing quality to him even though he favours quite disturbed or broken characters. It’s through his character Teardrop, intimidating and unpleasant, that director Debra Granik manages to create an unsettling atmosphere with enough tension that kept me intrigued. However, I’m left unsatisfied. Any intrigue I had fizzled out before the end when I realised nothing was actually going to happen. For such a promising storyline, a premise filled with potential, it failed to deliver. When it finished I thought “What was the point to that?” It lacked any real conviction.


I realise I’ve given Winter’s bone 3 ½ / 10 but I’m struggling to think of reasons why it deserves more than the one point I’ve already mentioned.




OK, I’ve got one. Another point is given for Jennifer Lawrence. I’ve only recently become familiar with Miss Lawrence after watching X-Men: First class, The Beaver, and Like Crazy; all minor roles in comparison to her latest film The Hunger Games, where she plays lead heroin Katniss Everdeen. She was practically unheard of before The Hunger Games but with comparisons made to Twilight, and an equally loyal ‘tween’ fan-base, Jennifer Lawrence will be a name hard to forget. But The Hunger Games must seem like a walk in the park for Lawrence after her lead role in Winter’s Bone. Though both the film and its characters are underdeveloped Lawrence does a great job in delivering an emotive, enthralling performance. But she has little to work with and though Lawrence is exceptional as the put upon daughter of a sick mother and drug fuelled father, left with raising two younger siblings, her character lacks depth and any real conviction. It’s a shame because it’s clear how talented she is but the restraints of such an underdeveloped character meant she had little to build on. But never fear, we shall have plenty of opportunities to see Lawrence shine in future projects that include three more Hunger Games films, The House At The End Of The Street, Devil You Know and several other films still in production. I don’t think she’ll be stepping out of the limelight any time soon.


Two points down, One and a half to go…….


I have nothing. I’m re-evaluating my score and have no choice but to give it 2/10. Eurg, I feel like such a terrible person. But what can I say, it was grim. And this could well be the films first negative review because I’ve struggled to find another one. Surely there are two films with the same title because there’s no way they’re talking about the same film……

About charlotteweston

I'm a traveller, not a tourist

13 responses »

  1. You should watch The Poker House with Jennifer Lawrence and Selma Blair it’s a GREAT film!

    • is this sarcasm? will I watch it and think oh there’s another two hours of my life i’ll never get back? or is it actually ‘a great’ film? 🙂

      • I wasn’t meaning it as sarcasm. I really loved the film, but I guess that’s just me ( I also enjoyed winter’s bone though), I wrote a small review for The Poker House on my blog(the whole movie takes place in one day)…

        “Anything can happen…and…anything does.”

        This quote and entire movie blew my mind! It is a tragic and inspiring story weaved together by great performances and amazing writing. The Poker House written and directed by Lori Petty (who also happens to act in one of my favourite movies EVER A League of Their Own) and based on her experiences growing up in a poor rural town in Iowa. Jennifer Lawrence provides a stunning performance as Agnes (her acting is amazing in everything she does also see Winter’s Bone). This quote just hit me in the chest, it’s so simple but yet so true in a world where honesty is often avoided.

        And that’s the Truth

      • I shall give Poker House a go and get back to you on it. Jennifer Lawrence is a great actress, one of the best things about Winter’s bone. Just for me the film itself was lacking in many ways.

  2. nediunedited says:

    Good points! I was 50/50 on this one. My boyfriend LOVED it, but I was on the fence. I loved Hawkes and Lawrence and they are very strong in this and although the premise was grim and dark, it was intriguing.

    My problem was with the pacing and editing choices–it seem to drag and there is this one strange scene with the–SQUIRREL!! 🙂 well, that was just weird and distracting–I was like WTF?

    Great Review!

  3. sanclementejedi says:

    “Is this going to be our time” Teardrop

    I found Winters Bone to be one of the most pleasant surprises of 2010. I enjoyed the look inside meth riddled backwoods America. Both Lawrence and Hawkes put forward top notch performances in this film, hell they both got nominated for Oscars. I guess I should also mention this got nominated for best adapted screenplay and best picture as well.

    Everyone is entitiled to their opininon and I enjoyed reading yours even if I disagree with it.

    • It did generate a lot of awards buzz and win a lot too but for me I found it lacking in many ways. Performances were great though. I’m a huge John Hawkes and Jennifer Lawrence fan and they both shone in Winter’s Bone.

      • sanclementejedi says:

        nice, now feel free to check out our site and complain about one of our reviews 😉

  4. yaykisspurr says:

    Funny I just read a review blowing this movie up as the best of 2011. Now you’ve made me even more intrigued! Hehe, I love a blogger fight. Now though with your post I have a gauge to see what I think. Cheers 🙂

    • The majority of its reviews are positive ones. I feel i’m in a minority of people who find fault with it. The acting in it is brilliant though. So that’s its one saving grace.

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