Monday, December 27, 2010
Winter's Bone (2010)
The film is too culture specific to it's country and the atypical social group among whom it is set to have much impact. It is neither here nor there--it is never quite able to decide whether to be a sociological study of a sub-culture or a human drama. It winds up as Americana and folk-lore. It fails to rise above sentimentality and caricature. On a human plane, the teenager's gritty battle in harrowing circumstances does evoke respect and admiration, specially the unusual emergence of character in such a hopeless, drug-infested environment--perhaps that is precisely the cause. Adversity, like war, brings out both the best and the worst.
The film reminds me of Kore-eda's Nobody Knows which is able to paint a more powerful picture of abandonment right in the middle of a booming metropolis without the props of an outlandish backdrop of drug sozzled hill-bills or hands being chainsawed off a dead body (Winter's Bone). Kore-eda's film is a searing indictment of individuals being ground in the blind wheels of a civilized society.