A serious film.
No attempt to please studios or even audience.
Instead a film made for the sole purpose of telling a story.
This is a story that was worth telling.
The novel by Daniel Woodrell was a critical hit and there may well be an argument for leaving well alone.
Thankfully that argument didn't deter director Debra Granik from embarking on the journey from page to screen.
Set in the Ozarks, an area that cuts through much of southern Missouri and north central Arkansas, a bleak, desolate and yet beautiful area where the original German, Irish, Scots and English settlers relied on hunting and trapping to survive and where, in modern times, methamphetamine is a common part of life "Winters Bone" tells the tale of Ree Dolly (Jennifer Lawrence) and her struggle to protect her family.
Ree is forced to confront the elders of her community when her father jumps bail leaving the family home at the mercy of a bail bondsman. The father is never seen and with her mother nearly catatonic unable to carry out the most basic of tasks at home it is up to Ree to raise her younger brother and sister. Ree is strong, vulnerable, brave and afraid...she is let down, threatened, beaten and cast out from her community as she tries to find her father and save her home.
This was a wonderful film.
Now, that is the sort of trite anti-crit that "real" reviewers are trained to avoid but I'm not a film critic or a journalist so I can take risks and simply tell it like it is every now and then.