Debra Granik’s gothic Ozark tale, Winter’s Bone, opening in limited release this Friday, just landed atop the Metacritic chart with a resounding score of 91 (only 5 reviews so far). It has clung¬†fast to¬†a perfect 100 at Rotten Tomatoes for awhile now (currently with 13 reviews). No word yet from BFCA. Will this be the critics’ darling of 2010? Comparisons to Frozen River abound, but with the Granik film generally coming out on top.
Slant’s Ed Gonzalez¬†elucidates what he prefers in this film to other Sundance darlings.
Given Sundance’s kneejerk tradition of rewarding films that focus on America’s down and out, there was reason to approach Debra Granik’s Winter’s Bone with trepidation, especially given that past winners at the festival have included manipulative visions such as Precious: Based on the Novel Push By Sapphire and Frozen River. But for those who’ve seen Down to the Bone, it probably won’t come as a surprise that Winter’s Bone further highlights Granik’s very distinct sensitivity and intelligence as a filmmaker‚Äîan aesthetic and moral sensibility that never hinges on exploiting the lives of her subjects or condescending to her audiences by appealing to our prejudices or soliciting our guilt.
Can’t say I agree with his evaluation of Frozen River, a film I loved. Nevertheless, this seems to bode well for critical rewards to Winter’s Bone. Perhaps not so much for Oscars? They tend to love films that are good at “soliciting our guilt.”