Winter's Bone.

Winter's Bone.

Postby Jim » Sun Jan 16, 2011 9:19 pm

Now this is a good film.
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Re: Winter's Bone.

Postby CAP » Tue Jan 18, 2011 2:20 pm

It's a killer film Jim!

And the book (by Daniel Woodrell) is even better! I spent most of the Christmas break reading some of his other novels. None as good. Maybe he's just getting better. He's in his 50s I think. He's got two coming out this year. But I did find an interesting blog somewhere about the film with a student from that part of the world, attesting to the tastiness of squirrel when prepared in the proper manner, amongst other things... He was a guy called Loren, apparently at present a student in Nottingham (of all places). Yeah you can google it.

But Loren, who obviously knows the place well, found the central character, Ree's staunch morality (her resolute duties to nearest and dearest), implausible given her low-life hillbilly milieu. I thought about this a lot. Why wouldn't she just join the Marines and let others take over raising her half-brother and sister, and near-catatonic mother? After all, there is a solid precedent for slacking, all around her. Well, because that would be cutting herself off from kin and The Clan and that would be like leaving a church or emigrating for good. She would only land herself in deeper trouble. So she stays and fights, but also, she thinks she can win - well she is only 17. But she is smart.

In earlier books other characters leave to join the Marines, only to eventually return crippled physically or psychologically, to further burden the clan, degrade their circumstances.

I do wonder whether she would be quite as reckless as to confront the main clan-head gangster in public (at a cattle sale) but then again she's working to a pretty tight deadline. The women's networking thing would need more time. But these things are handled slightly differently in the book - more is explained, like the fact that her younger brother and sister have different fathers from her or each other. Her mother went through a flightly period, before losing her mind. On the other hand, the film makes the bleak countryside almost a character itself (and the continual report of rifle shots from the woods...) And the character of her uncle Teardrop is superbly realised, together with his flaky partner. That stuff is priceless.

For me the most poignant moment is right at the end, as they all sit on the front stoop, and Teardrop finally announces that he knows who did it (i.e. shot Ree's father, his younger brother) and makes a shuffling exit, off through the trees. And you just know he will go and kill the suspect, and in due course will be killed himself and that is the last Ree will ever see of him. It's partly this fatalistic acceptance of death and this absolute code of family honour that make some critics see the story in almost mythic or legendary terms. At one point in the film (I think) Teardrop actually says this stuff (their lore) goes way back, further than The Bible or any nation, it's just blood!

That line went right through me like an Intercity express.
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Re: Winter's Bone.

Postby Jim » Thu Jan 20, 2011 1:34 pm

Wonderfully put CAP.
If I had read WB before seeing it I never would have been able to imagine the Missouri sticks as it looks in the film. I ordered another Woodrell book after watching it, Tomato something, so I'm slightly disappointed to hear WB is his best, if you know what I mean. I'll certainly keep an eye on what he does next. Speaking of which, let's hope that Debra Granik gets to make another film again soon, after her Sundance success.
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Re: Winter's Bone.

Postby Corr » Tue Mar 01, 2011 5:55 pm

picked up a copy of WB. I'm looking forward to it. Thanks for the recommendation. WWR is handy. ;)
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Re: Winter's Bone.

Postby CAP » Sat Mar 22, 2014 7:10 pm

A Nerdy 2014 Afterword

I recently watched Winter’s Bone again on DVD and it’s still utterly mesmerizing. I didn’t think it would be. But there were some minor differences I feel like noting – even now. The picture quality actually looked much richer, unlike the slightly washed-out version I’d seen in the cinema – could be the smaller screen, could be some post-distribution fiddling for the DVD version (easily accomplished in our digital age).

More puzzling was the ending – as noted above, quite vivid for me – but this time the final scene where Teardrop visits Ree, his departure is by pickup truck, rather than just walking away into the trees as I’d described. As I say, this is puzzling. Had I simply misremembered the scene or imagined his walking away? Could director Granik have re-cut the DVD version using an alternative ending for some reason? I could find no acknowledgement of that on the packaging, but maybe I’m missing something…

Then again, the pickup’s presence seems strange in the final shots, since Teardrop enters the scene walking around the side of the house and approaching Reese from the distant background, his hands cupped around a bandana holding three small chicks he brings as a gift for her young brother and sister. The unmistakable impression is that he’s come on foot. If he’s come by pickup, it has to have been parked only yards from her. So the pickup brings puzzling continuity problems as well.

It’s a minor point, but maybe someone will read this and have an explanation? :ugeek:
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