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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Quick Review (Oscar Edition): Winter's Bone

At the end of this post I'll rank the Oscar Best Picture nominees, now that I've seen them all. The one I had missed, "Winter's Bone," wasn't rereleased to theaters after its nomination, so I had to rent the DVD. (Not only is it the first time I've ever rented a DVD, although way back in the day I did rent VHS tapes, I got it for $1 from a Redbox machine. It would've cost $4.99 for On Demand rental from Comcast.)

The tension-filled "Winter's Bone" mostly held my interest well. I got up just once, to get a drink. (Being able to pause the movie just isn't possible in theaters, dammit!) 17-year-old Ree (Jennifer Lawrence, nominated for Best Actress) is taking care of her mother, younger brother and sister in severe poverty in a rural area. She has to set off on a desperate quest to find her missing father, out on bond after an arrest on meth-making charges; he signed over their house as part of his bail, and if he doesn't show up for court they'll lose the house. The search won't be easy; meth labs are a big business in these areas and those who may know her father's whereabouts, including his own brother (John Hawkes, also a nominee as Best Supporting Actor), keep warning her to keep her mouth shut. I kept waiting for some typical dialogue and action and overacting that we usually get from big-budget Hollywood films. It never came. This is a quiet but rather powerful story. My grade: B-plus.

So, now that I've seen all ten Best Picture nominees, here is how I'd rank them, although my hunch is that "The King's Speech" will actually win the Oscar:

  1. Toy Story 3
  2. The Social Network
  3. Black Swan
  4. Inception
  5. Winter's Bone
  6. The Kids Are All Right
  7. 127 Hours
  8. True Grit
  9. The King's Speech
  10. The Fighter

1 comment:

john said...

Amazed at the love for Toy Story 3. I'll try to pick it up whwn I return The Social Network tomorrow.