It’s really best to write a movie review while the film is still fresh in your mind. It’s possible new revelations and insights will be revealed if you give yourself time to mull things over. But if you’re me, it’s much more likely that you will start to forget the film as the end credits are still rolling and it’s best to get your thoughts down as quickly as possible. Since I’m still enamored with my alliteration device of doing movie reviews on Monday, and since I’ve actually seen quite a few films lately, this review has been put off just a bit too long. My apologies in advance! Feel free to stop reading now.

She's wearing make-up.

The biggest thing I took away from this film is the importance of make-up. Yep, these are the groundbreaking ideas you’re going to find here. I guess I’m feeling even more shallow than usual. Jennifer Lawrence is a beautiful woman. But even a beautiful woman needs a little help.

The second thing I took away from this film is that if I had been born poor, in the Ozarks, I would have died. That’s right. DIED. I do not possess the moral fiber or gumption or grit or whatever the hell you want to call it to do half of the things Ree Dolly (Jennifer Lawrence) does in this film. Especially not the bit at the lake. I wouldn’t want to put my hands in that water, even if I thought there were only catfish down there.

I will kill you.

Every single person in this movie scared the crap out of me, including the small children. I can not imagine living in a town where everyone terrified me with the added bonus of being related to half of them. I would also not be able to feed myself, much less two younger siblings and a raving loony mama. I would not be able to shoot anything and if by some grace of God I did manage to kill (or maim) some poor squirrel, I sure as hell would not have been able to gut and skin it.

I do not like squirrels.

The movie is bleak all around, but somehow, in the end, you can’t help but feel a little hopeful for Ree and her family. She’s willing to do whatever it takes to keep her family together and provide for them. Even with all the odds against her, I think she’s going to make it.

Bottom Line: Winter’s Bone has a 94% freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes, was awarded the 2010 Sundance Grand Jury Prize and received all kinds of other award nominations. They aren’t wrong. 

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