Film Screening 11th March, 2011

Poster for Winter’s Bone

Winter’s Bone 

8:00 PM, 11th March, 2011

  • MA
  • 100 mins
  • 2010
  • Debra Granik
  • Debra Granik, Anne Rosellini
  • Jennifer Lawrence, John Hawkes, Lauren Sweester, Garret Dillahunt

Call it a morbid curiosity but I’ve always been fascinated by movies about unpleasant hillbilly hicks, particularly when that unpleasantness is directed at their inbred extended family and particularly when it is done well. Winter’s Bone fits the bill perfectly. The film follows the trials and tribulations of Ree Dolly (a brilliant performance by newcomer Lawrence) as she scours the farms and bars around her small, snowy, mountain town looking for her meth-cooking father. It’s urgent she find him – a bail bondsman has turned up on her doorstep to tell her that the family home has been put up for collateral in his bail and she has only a few days to turn him in.

Ree leaves her mentally incapacitated mother and numerous young siblings at home after giving them rudimentary lessons in cooking and hunting squirrels, and hits up her psychotic meth-head uncle "Teardrop" (a scary Hawkes) to find out where they last went cooking before visiting the progressively scarier extended family.

Winter’s Bone is a bleak, at times harrowing, and by and large fascinating thriller. The ambience and tone of the film are pitch-perfect. Every performance in the film is top notch, but none more so than those of Jennifer Lawrence and John Hawkes who have Oscar nominations for their performances. Not one to miss if you have the stomach for an occasionally grizzly thriller.

Adam Gould

Poster for Anything For Her (Pour elle)

Anything For Her (Pour elle) 

9:55 PM, 11th March, 2011

  • M
  • 92 mins
  • 2010
  • Fred Cavayé
  • Fred Cavayé
  • Vincent Lindon, Diane Kruger, Lancelot Roch, Olivier Marchal

Julien (Lindon) and his wife Lise (Kruger) live a happy and uneventful life until one morning the police come to arrest Lise on murder charges. Whiz through all of the court stuff and Lisa is sentenced to 20 years in prison. After her legal remedies are all exhausted, she attempts suicide, and her husband decides he has no choice but to break her out of prison. The bulk of the film tells of how he makes and executes his plan.

The transformation of Julien from mild-mannered school teacher to escape-plan mastermind is somewhat unbelievable, but suspension of disbelief is not an uncommon prerequisite for the thriller genre, and if you can manage to go with the plotline then you’re definitely in for a treat.

Vincent Lindon and Diane Kruger both give great performances and have a wonderful chemistry. This is a very good French thriller – it has good pace, it’s not TOO unbelievable, and you care for the main characters. If you like your suspense powerful and unnerving, check out this film. It is the debut effort of French director Fred Cavayé, but more importantly an entertaining thriller that really delivers.

Tamara Lee