When you first hear about WINTER'S BONE and it's setting, one's prejudices might immediately kick in. A drama set in the Ozarks.  Must be a story about how a brave man or woman is struggling against their station in life to achieve better for their family. That's what came to my mind. Just goes to show, never prejudge. Boy was I wrong. This is film noir set among rednecks. The wonderful Jennifer Lawrence is Ree. She's running the family. Mom's a basket case. Dad's in jail. Or so we think. Seems he bonded out and is on the run. Ree has to find him or lose their home (log cabin that it is). To do that she has to confront every Meth cooker in the county, including one scary old fat dude named “Thump Milton”. It's her strong will that drives the story. She won't let anyone take her younger brother and sister from her. She's desperately trying to keep the family together. It's that amazing strength and will that is so wonderfully portrayed in this movie. A great screenplay by director Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini is brought to life by Granik and her cinematographer. Lawrence has acting chops beyond her years and John Hawkes populates the moral center (if a coke snorting, meth cooker can be the moral center) as Ree's uncle, Teardrop. Their nominations are richly deserved. They won't win with the likes of Portman and Bale also nominated, but they deserve some kind of recognition for carrying this fantastic movie to a satisfying conclusion. — Alan Yudman

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