It is probably true that old film critics never die, they just slump face down into their box of popcorn.
You get to be a certain age and so much of what passes for movie entertainment these days seems simply lost on me.
And while I would never make a prediction on what movies will actually win Academy Awards, it is probably a reasonable bet to suggest what films will at least be nominated for something.
That is certainly true with “Winter Bone,” which the Marigold of Macy’s and I saw last night. Like last year’s “Hurt Locker,” which was shot on a budget of about $1.25, so too is this movie about a young woman trying to find her father, who has apparently jumped bail, in order to save the family home, was shot in the Ozarks for a paltry $2 million.
Still, it’s a pretty good guess “Winter Bone” stands of good chance of being nominated for Best Picture, Best Director (Debra Granik), Best Actress (Jennifer Lawrence), Best Supporting Actor (John Hawkes) and Best Screenplay (Granik and Anne Rossellini).
This is just a great movie, capturing the grittiness and destitution of the Ozarks and the tribal nature of the people who scratch out an existence amid such grinding poverty.
Most of these performers are relative unknowns, with a few television credits to their names. And so it is always fun, if you are a movie buff, to see something like this – a director, an actress and an actor – all on the verge of a break-out performance.
In the old days, when I actually reviewed film and television for a livng, I would rate productions on a star basis. In this case I would have given “Winter Bone” an easy three and a half-stars. By the way, if you take my recommendation and decide to see this movie, you will never quite look at a squirrel in the same way again.