Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Crazy Amigo: Film Inspiration
In case I haven't mentioned it before, I’m a huge movie fiend; I think that goes back to my childhood in Mississippi, when all there was to do on a Saturday night was go to the movies. I could get a child’s ticket until I was about 14 years old, and popcorn was only 50 cents, so basically I saw everything that came to town.
So last Friday afternoon I was checking the weekend lineup at Cine Cafe, a local theater and cinema, and I read about Winter’s Bone. Before I even finished the movie review, I told my husband about the film, and we jumped in the car to try to make the 5:15 feature. We were 5 minutes late, but, since we’d read a little background, we were able to pick up the story line. It’s a about Ree, a tough17 year old, fiercely protective of her younger brother and sister and their mentally ill nearly-catatonic mother. They live in backwoods, Missouri, in a dilapidated cabin surrounded by yard dogs, broken toys and relatives that make the hillbillies in Deliverence look friendly. We discover that Ree's father is a meth cooker on the run from the sheriff. Ree has to find him because he’s put their house and the surrounding timberlands up for bond, and her family’s about to lose the house. I don’t want to tell you too much about the plot because one of the best things about the film is watching the the dark thread of the plot unraveling. This low-budget backwoods gothic won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, as much as for its austerity as its authentic storytelling. The movie is visually mesmerizing and not for the usual reasons. It's stark. It's menacing. It's ugly. It's heart-breaking, but it's hopeful. I could watch this movie over and over again and never fully comprehend the damaged humanity of its characters. Every once in a while a movie gets under my skin, and Winter’s Bone is most definitely that film. You should go see it.