Winter’s Bone – 4 stars
A rough, gritty picture about a girl (Jennifer Lawrence) living a bleak life in the hills of Missouri. Her father is a crank processor who put up the family land for bond and has gone missing. Accordingly, it is up to his daughter to navigate the familial bonds and brutal reality of her surroundings to find him and convince him to appear for trial. Her journey takes us to the core of a back hills and backwards society that in many ways echoes the distrustful, independent and dangerous world of Walter Hill’s The Long Riders, although the setting is modern day. The film also echoes James Foley’s At Close Range, giving an insight into a foreign criminal world in our rural midst. Gripping and authentic, and Lawrence gives one of those assured performances that portends stardom.