Their is a gathering Oscar buzz surrounding newcomer Jennifer Lawrence's performance in Winter's Bone winner of the Grand Jury prize in drama at Sundance. This breakthrough performance is already being compared to The Hurt Locker's Jeremy Renner ascension, but Lawrence is not the only stand-out in Debra Granik's terrific adaptation of Daniel Woodrell's novel.
Ree Dolly (Lawrence), a 17-year-old girl, is the sole responsible "adult" in her impoverished Ozark family. She finds herself forced to track her fugitive father, a longtime crystal meth maker, through the most hardcore of the local criminal network after she learns that he has put their home up as his bail bond. As Ree Dolly's volatile, drug-abusing uncle Teardrop, Eastbound & Down's John Hawkes provides a blistering mix of sudden violence and conflicted loyalties that threatens her desperate attempts to track down her missing father. And, as this short but pivotal scene demonstrates, he packs enough menace to recall Dennis Hopper at his most unhinged. Set amid the rusting trailer parks and extreme poverty of the Midwest's Ozark Mountains, Winter's Bone is a slow-burning thriller that twists, turns and leaves an indelible impression.