Winter's Bone is the unflinching story of a determined teenager in rural Missouri whose often absent father cooks meth and mother is mentally unavailable. With limited food and clothing, Ree raises her younger siblings, making certain they learn to read and attend school. Despite and in contrast to the bleakness, the family shares funny and tender moments.

The community is aware of Ree's plight. Some neighbors give food or noticing her chopping firewood, a kind woman lends a log-splitter. Ree accepts but explains to her brother and sister, "Never ask for what oughta be offered." She is proud, dreams of joining the military until the bail bondsman appears saying her father didn't show for his court date.

Ree learns the house was put up as collateral and she has two weeks to find her father. She sets off on foot where one horrible thing after another happens but Ree displays remarkable strength, courage and ingenuity beyond her 17 years. Comparable in some ways to the original True Grit, this tale is far darker, bleaker and ultimately more agonizing.

Based on a book, this 2010 film conveys a sense of timelessness utilizing strong characters and themes. Interspersed, incredible photography like lost paintings took my breath away then were gone. If you're downhearted or blue, watching this will put things in perspective, not because somebody's life is worse but seeing perseverance in action.


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