Oscar Preview: Winter’s Bone

Mary Anne Kavjian and Mary Anne Kavjian

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As Mo’Nique read out the names of the Academy Award nominations on Jan. 25, one movie was plucked from obscurity and surprisingly given four nominations. Winter’s Bone, a Sundance Film Festival success, is about seventeen-year-old Ree Dolly who is left to raise her siblings and keep her family together in rural America.

Dolly, played by best actress nominee Jennifer Lawrence, must find her father, Jessup, who has not been seen since he was arrested for cooking meth, a common practice within their poor town. If Jessup does not appear at his trial in a week, the Dolly house will be seized by the government as Jessup’s collateral. Dolly must work her way through the world of Jessup’s criminal friends and enemies, trying to find any trace of him to save her family.

Although released in mid-June of 2010, Winter’s Bone is gaining popularity with its recent Oscar nominations. The movie shines with the tough and gritty performance of Lawrence, who does an excellent job of showing Dolly’s personal struggle while still keeping a hard exterior. Lawrence shows incredible talent for such a young actress and is completely worthy of her nomination. The overall environment of their town was depicted perfectly as a struggling part of middle America in which everyone has nothing and no hope of success.

Winter’s Bone is also nominated for best adapted screenplay, best supporting actor for John Hawkes’s portrayal of Dolly’s uncle, Teardrop, and best picture.

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