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LIONSGATE

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Debra Granik
Cast:
Jennifer Lawrence, John Hawkes, Garret Dillahunt
Writing Credits:
Debra Granick, Anne Rosellini

Synopsis:
An unflinching Ozark Mountain girl hacks through dangerous social terrain as she hunts down her drug-dealing father while trying to keep her family intact.

MPAA:
Rated R.

DISC DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
None

Runtime: 100 min.
Price: $9.99
Release Date: 10/6/2010

Bonus:
• Audio Commentary with Wrter/Director Debra Granik and Director of Photography Michael McDonough
• “The Making of Winter’s Bone” Featurette
• Alternate Opening
• 4 Deleted Scenes
• “Hardscrabble Elegy” Musical Performance
• Trailer & Previews


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RELATED REVIEWS


Winter's Bone [Blu-Ray] (2010)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (June 2, 2020)

Jennifer Lawrence made her movie debut in 2008, but 2010 offered her first push toward stardom. While not a commercial success, 2010’s Winter’s Bone received strong critical praise and earned then-20-year-old Lawrence her first Oscar nomination.

Based on Daniel Woodrell’s 2006 novel, Bone takes us to rural Missouri and introduces us to 17-year-old Ree Dolly (Lawrence). Because her father goes AWOL and her mother suffers from incapacitating mental illness, Ree runs the household and acts as primary caregiver of her younger siblings, all while she still needs to attend high school.

Ree and family lead a dirt-poor existence, and even this meager lifestyle becomes endangered when Ree’s dad skips bail. If Ree doesn’t track down her father and bring him back, the clan will lose their home.

Though that synopsis might make Bone sound like a backwoods riff on The Fugitive, the movie really comes light on plot. Sure, Ree’s pursuit of her dad offers the main arc, but that tale feels more like an excuse to involve us in the film’s particular universe.

Expect a pretty brutal look at this location, as Bone doesn’t sugarcoat Ree’s hardscrabble existence. She lives in a world with little hope of improvement, as girls marry young and men view drugs as their only real hope, though they mostly use more than they sell.

Bone definitely sympathizes much more with female characters, as it depicts the men as largely awful. Usually I’d roll my eyes at a slant like this, but here it feels genuine.

That means Bone doesn’t come across like a male-bashing movie, and it betrays no ham-fisted feminist agenda. Instead, it portrays life in the poorest of conditions and the ways that existence degrades all involved.

In a more traditional film, we’d see Ree as the spunky individualist who saves the day via wits and cunning. Bone gives her a strong personality, but it never turns her into some cartoon hero who trounces the odds and conquers all her foes.

Bone does manifest a semblance of a happy ending, which comes as a relief given its relentlessly grim nature during so much of the prior 95 minutes. Ree earns some sense of “victory”, even if this doesn’t magically fix things.

Which is good, as a Bone that ends with cakes ‘n’ frolic would betray its purpose and intentions. Inherently a tale of human perseverance, it can conclude on a moderately positive note, but it can’t go Happily Ever After.

The film’s finish seems subdued enough to work, and it allows the audience to feel less awful. Not that a version of Bone without a glimmer of hope still wouldn’t succeed, but this approach seems best.

Bone really does immerse us in its downtrodden world, though not to a melodramatic degree. Indeed, the film goes out of its way to avoid the kind of theatrics that might mar a production of this sort.

While I’m not sure I buy Lawrence as a backwoods girl, she still does well in the part. Lawrence underplays the role in an appropriate manner and brings the needed inner strength and conviction.

That means Lawrence gives us a good honest performance, and the rest of the cast follows suit. You’ll need to look long and hard to find a false note from the actors.

No one will mistake Bone for a fun might at the movies. However, it achieves its goals and becomes a convincing portrait of survival in dire circumstances.


The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B-/ Bonus B-

Winter’s Bone appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Across the board, the transferred looked pretty good.

Sharpness was fine. A little softness occurred in some wide shots, but those instances didn’t become a concern, so overall definition seemed positive.

I noticed no jagged edges or moiré effects, and the presentation lacked apparent edge haloes or other artifacts. I also saw no print flaws, as the movie always seemed clean.

In terms of colors, Bone opted for a cool palette that emphasized blues and tans. While not exciting, the colors looked fine within the design parameters.

In addition, blacks were dark and tight, while low-light shots were clear and well-depicted This was a positive presentation.

As for the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it added a little breadth to the experience. The movie didn’t deliver a rock-em-sock-em soundscape, but it managed to suit the settings.

The emphasis remained on general environment remained, and that was fine. I felt the soundfield fit the material.

Audio quality always pleased. Speech remained natural and concise, with no edginess or other flaws.

Though the film offered little score, the music felt well-reproduced, while effects came across as accurate and clear. All of this made sense for the film, even if the mix didn’t give us much to impress.

The disc comes with a mix of extras, and we open with an audio commentary from writer/director Debra Granik and director of photography Michael McDonough. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at the source and its adaptation, story and characters, cast and performances, sets and locations, music, photography, attempts at realism, costumes, and related domains.

Introspective and engaging, the commentary covers the film well. Granik and McDonough delve into the appropriate mix of subjects in a positive manner that tells us a lot about the production, so expect a high-quality chat here.

The Making of Winter’s Bone fills 46 minutes, 38 seconds. Though a few comments from the set appear, “Making” mainly shows us raw footage from the shoot, with a smattering of movie clips involved as well. It also includes a deleted scene not found in the prior collection, and it repeats one of the segments from that compilation.

I tend to enjoy this sort of material, and this becomes an engaging reel. Some of the footage feels more interesting than the rest, but I still like this collection of shots.

In addition to an Alternate Opening (1:29), we find four Deleted Scenes (10:17). The former shows Super 8 footage of the family that gives the movie a somewhat idyllic feel. It would’ve made for an interesting contrast with the grimness that follows.

As for the other scenes, they offer little in terms of real plot or character information. We see a bit more of Ree’s siblings as well as her friend Gail, but none of them add anything substantial.

We also find a kind of music video for “Hardscrabble Elegy” by Dickon Hinchliffe. This combines Super8 footage of the movie’s environs with the song in question. It’s not especially memorable.

The disc opens with ads for Biutiful, Tetro, Apocalypse Now and The Next Three Days. We also get the trailer for Bone.

A grim journey into the lives of the rural poor, Winter’s Bone can become a tough tale to take. However, it delivers such a rich, natural view of its subject matter than it winds up as a compelling drama. The Blu-ray brings pretty good picture and audio as well as a mix of bonus materials. Winter’s Bone proves effective.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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