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Winter’s Bone

Winter’s Bone is bleak realism at its best. You may leave the theater happy, but only because no matter what, you’ll realize your life is a billion times better than the poor girl’s at the center of this film. Jennifer Lawrence plays Ree Dolly, a 17-year-old whose meth-making father has left her with a chronically sick mother and two younger siblings to take care of. When Dad was arrested for drug dealing, he put the house and some timbered acreage up as collateral for his bond and then disappeared. Early on, Ree is informed that unless Dad shows up in court, the house and land will be taken and she and her family will be left homeless. And this is in the most impoverished part of southern Missouri and it is winter.