17-year-old Ree is desperately searching for her father, who has disappeared after using the family home and their plot of land as security for his bail. If she doesnʼt find him, she, her sick mother and her younger siblings will have nowhere left to go. The film is set in the forests of the Ozark Mountains, a world that could not seem more remote, the people installing themselves in run-down log cabins with the bare minimum. Unruly folks, living more or less from hand to mouth. Ree receives practically no support from her neighbors as she looks for her father, meeting a steely wall of silence everywhere she goes. In "Winter's Bone", director Debra Granik finds great visual tableaux in the tradition of the American social photography of the 1930s, images which document the poverty of this life rather than putting it on show. Before a backdrop always anchored in reality, Granik tells the classic cinema tale of a heroine who is more than up to the task. Ree has to break her outlaw community's code of silence in order to find out what happened to her father. "Winter's Bone" takes us on a journey to a lost America where the promise that things will get better still rings hollow.
by Debra Granik
with Jennifer Lawrence, John Hawkes, Dale Dickey, Garret Dillahunt, Tate Taylor