When the 2011 Oscar nominationswere announced this morning, the fact that 'Winter's Bone' was nominated for Best Picture, Best Actress (Jennifer Lawrence), Best Actor (John Hawkes) and Best Adapted Screenplay piqued some curiosity among moviegoers, if only because Debra Granik's indie about a teenager searching for her father in the drug-infested culture of the Ozarks isn't as well-known as many of the other nominees.
Yet 'Winter's Bone' received a huge amount of critical acclaim when it was released last June. It received a 94-percent-fresh Rotten Tomatoes rating, and we here at Moviefone ranked it fourth on our 50 Best Movies of 2010 list, describing the film as follows:
The story of Ree, a teenager trying to track down her wayward father among a network of similarly wayward (and criminal) relatives, seems like the kind of indie that gets acclaim at festivals and is quickly forgotten. But 'Winter's Bone' is a far better, far weightier film than that. Filmed on location in the Ozarks, the film evokes not just a place and a way of life but a fierce sense of loyalty, desperation and pride. John Hawkes as Ree's uncle is explosive with menace and pain -- and Jennifer Lawrence as the headstrong Ree, who comes of age in ways most people will never (thank God) have to undergo, is a revelation, giving us what is certainly one of the best performances and strongest female characters of the year.