Winter’s Bone Director Debra Granik has delivered one of the year’s best American films – with just her second feature. Every moment of Winter’s Bone seems absolutely real and absolutely true. Granik shot in southern Missouri, and used local people, local homes, local clothes and local music – all choices that result in the film’s authenticity. Even the Army recruiter is a real-life Army recruiter. Similarly, the soundtrack is spare and pure – pretty much just the snapping twigs, chirping birds, barking dogs and sputtering pickups of the Ozarks; the audience feels the gripping story without the filmmaker layering on manipulative music.
Granik’s first feature, Down to the Bone, won acting awards for its star Vera Farmiga as a grocery clerk mom who undergoes drug rehab without support from her husband or employer. In both Winter’s Bone and Down to the Bone, Granik lets her actors act, most compellingly when they are not talking. Down to the Bone is available on DVD and Netflix streaming.
Granik and screenwriting partner Anne Rosellini were looking for a story that featured a strong female protagonist ans found it in Daniel Woodrell’s novel. Here are Granik and Woodrell on NPR’s Fresh Air.
Richard von Busack also has an excellent interview with Granik and Lawrence – click here and scroll below his review.