***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!
Winter's Bone - 3 out of 5
The critics love it (it got a 96% on Rotten Tomatoes), the Academy nominated for Best Picture but I think it was...meh.
I liken this film about a young girl trying to raise her brother and sister while trying to locate her father (or father's body) in the Ozarks to a saltine cracker. There's some flavor to it and it's not bad to eat but I want something with a little more flavor and a lot more meat (or, in my case since I'm a vegan, more soy or roughage). The movie is in no way bad, in fact the acting is tremendous, the camera work and lighting is fantastic and the story is interesting but I just couldn't get into it. I know that sounds confusing because you read what I just said and say, "You said you like the story, so why couldn't you get into it?" Good question. One of the things that caused me having to have difficulty maintaining interest would be the monotone voice of the film's lead actress, the heroine of the story, Jennifer Lawrence. Her performance was really great but her voice was so dry and flat, it reminded me of--well--a cracker. But this is rendered moot as this film delivers one of John Hawkes best performances I've ever seen. Then there were also two occasions where some odd usage of VERY INTENSE music in non-intense scenes made me raise an eyebrow and wonder what just happened that warranted the unnecessary grandeur (but that's a small complaint). And even though I said the story is great, it tends to move slowly or, on occasions, wildly throw you into a sequence that will make you wonder what exactly this has to do with the film.
These couple complaints aside, Winter's Bone is an interesting film. While I didn't enjoy it the way the critics or the Academy did, I did find it enjoyable--even if I only found myself in the middle of the road on the highway of entertainment. (Dammit, I really wanted to end on another cracker metaphor but couldn't come up with one so I went with a highway one instead.)