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Monday, December 13, 2010

Winter's Bone (to pick)

I don't like to play the "I just don't get this" card every day (or every week on this blog), but a movie has come into many people's orbit and I'm rather lost about its appeal.

Winter's Bone is a film I heard raves about from critics that I trust. While I still trust these critics, I wonder if we saw the same film. The film that I saw was a drama with a noir sort of bent and a very authentic depiction of backwoods life. That's about where my opinion and other people's opinions stop.

Beyond that description, I found the film to be sorely lacking in terms of drawing me in. There's a slight (and I mean slight) mystery element and there's a sorta-climax, and then it's over. I was curious about the main character's "journey" and that's why I kept watching. When the credits hit, I was very frustrated.

I read glowing reviews online afterwards, and I'm afraid I have to admit that this film is raved about because of what it isn't. This isn't a remake. This isn't a big-budget film. There are no stars or shocking twists. No hidden clues that you would notice until repeated viewing. Because of that, it warrants all this praise? I disagree.

I do like movies that go in completely opposite directions of what "tests well" for a mass audience. I don't like them simply for that reason. Usually there are plenty of reasons. I could describe my praise to somebody who didn't "get" a movie like Barton Fink or Blood Simple. I could even tell you why I love The Road, even in its post-apocalyptic setting.

So what I'm not understanding with Winter's Bone is really beyond me.

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