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……