Winter’s Bone – 4 stars

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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 her to navigate the familial bonds and brutal reality of her surroundings to find and convince him to appear for trial.  Her journey takes us to the core of a backward society that in many ways echoes the distrustful, independent and dangerous world of Walter Hill’s The Long Riders, although this is a modern day setting.  The film also echoes James Foley’s At Close Range, giving an insight into a foreign criminal world in our rural midst.

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