This is why drugs are bad: “Winter’s Bone” Discussion


“Winter’s Bone” kept creeping up on award lists and it surprised people when it nabbed four academy award nominations. Of course, I had to check it out.

Okay first off…. the story got confusing and I’m still not quite sure happened. I got the main part of the story which involved Ree Dolly, a seventeen year old girl left to take care of her two younger siblings since her drug dealing daddy is missing and her mom is too emotional distraught to actually care for herself. She needs to find her dad so she can keep the house. Her daddy put their house up for his bond to get out of jail. If she doesn’t find him, she, her siblings and her mom will be thrown out into the woods to care for themselves.  I understood this. Where it got confusing was who told what about Jessup Dolly, her dad and what was the right gossip and what was wrong. It was a very he said she said situation. I went back to a couple scenes, but I still have no idea.

What this movie did for me obviously wasn’t story wise, but character wise specifically Jennifer Lawrence and  John Hawkes characters.

Jennifer Lawrence  plays the main character of the film Ree Dolly, the seventeen year old taking care of her family. This girl is tough, she’s determined and she’s definitely no coward. At the same time she is also vulnerable and just an average girl who misses her dad or what he was before he became a drug dealer and got into trouble with people and the law. Lawrence is twenty now, but that girl… she worked for this role. Out of all the nominees that I’ve seen, I’ve felt for her.  Lawrence made the movie.

John Hawke’s nomination came out of nowhere some people thought, but after watching… I don’t think so. I think he rightly deserved a spot on the nomination ballot along side Geoffrey Rush. John Hawkes played the character of Teardrop, Jessup’s brother. No surprise that with a name with Teardrop, he turns out to be a druggie as well. Teardrop is a complicated brother as he should be. The first time we meet him in the movie, Teardrop sends Ree away when she badgers him to know where Jessup is. He actually tries to pay her for her family and just tells her to keep quiet.  I don’t think I realized it, but I guess this was his way of protecting her.

As I’ve said…. Ree is no coward and would not keep quiet. She kept on poking her head around until she got beat up by another famliy that has a very strained relationship with Teardrop and Jessup. Teardrop now becomes a loving uncle and swipes in and protects her. He wants to find out what happened to Jessup, but is also no willing to protect his blood.

At the point when Teardrop and Ree get on the same line, the plot confuses me.

All in all, “Winter’s Bone” showed the raw emotion of one young girl who has grown up so fast to deal with all the bullshit her father left behind.

At the same time we see Ree still feel for her father. At one point she even says, she’s ashamed for him. Not that she’s ashamed of  what  her name means, but of what her father must have gone through. Like she told a couple people in the movies, “We’re Dolly’s.” When someone asks how does she do it, she responds, “I was bred and buttered that way.”

* On a side note: It was funny to see Garrett Dillahunt in this movie as the Sheriff… I’ve been used to seeing him and laughing at him on “Raising Hope”. (love that show)

Oscar Nominations:

-Best Picture

-Best Actress: Jennifer Lawrence

-Best Supporting Actor: John Hawkes

-Best Writing for Adapted Screenplay

* On a side note: It was funny to see Garrett Dillahunt in this movie as the Sheriff… I’ve been used to seeing him and laughing at him on “Raising Hope”. (love that show)

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One thought on “This is why drugs are bad: “Winter’s Bone” Discussion

  1. I’m glad to see Winter’s Bone getting its due with the Academy. I’m especially glad to see fellow Louisvillian Jennifer Lawrence nominated for Best Actress.

    My only beef with the movie is in the way the violence was toned down. With some shoot-em-up movies, the violence is like a form of pornography, but in Winter’s Bone, it’s central to the story telling. These people live in a world where violence is part of the day-to-day social contract, and as menacing as it may seem in the movie, the book was much more chilling to me.

    Thanks for the post.

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