Monthly Archives: October 2010

debra granik: winter’s bone (2010)

Once in a while a genuine, technically perfect and haunting film appears from USA and floors the (film)seekers.

And, mostly it is not made by the behemoth studios / corps that create the mediocre films (tagged Hollywood) – it is actually made by independent and otherwise nondescript production companies and by brilliant directors who do not believe in insulting the intelligence of the audience.

These real films do not have maudlin melodramatic content or tomato-sauce strewn action sequences or stereotypes or cliches or black/white schisms (lately the computer graphics oriented nonsense that is de riguer in many of these flicks has also added to my list of woes!)… What these independent films offer are very good and plausible storylines, excellent acting, locale specific accents, taut scripts, brilliant cinematography, unobtrusive and gelled background scores, authentic locations and skilled editing – and they demolish all myths about USA and the stereotypes that we (the non Americans) have in our heads about America and Americans – all with effortless ease and very naturally.

They do not condescend to tell you the story giving all the details all the time – thus leaving nothing to our imagination, extrapolation and pondering. They do not see life in black and white. They are nuanced. They do not pretend to preach.

“The mediocre movie explains everything twice and always means exactly what it says. It waves its sincerity aloft like a truce flag. It leaves no questions unanswered. It tells you exactly where you should stand in relation to its characters and its subject matter. It is frequently soothing because it tells you that you are right. Then, too, it can be like an unrelenting host who holds you captive until you finish every last morsel on the plate. But it tends not to stick in the memory because there’s nothing there to wonder about.”
— Vincent Canby

And so, I saw this flick – winter’s bone – and was completely floored by the simple story of a quest of an young girl to live with her self-esteem and her family intact.  That the story happens in a crime ridden and meth-filled atmosphere in the Ozarks is a mere detail. But, the fact that this film authentically represents parts of the real USA – its demographic elements that are not generally dealt with or given due respect by the media – is more important.

Hope Debra continues to create great films.

I think “winter’s bone” will be in my personal list of 100 decent films (from all over the world) for a while.

Strongly recommended.

Advertisements