Winter's Bone: Dark Tale of Life in the Ozarks Opens Friday in NY and LA



Hillbilly noir at its finest.
  • Hillbilly noir at its finest.
A movie based on Ozarks author Daniel Woodrell's 2006 novel Winter's Bone received critical acclaim at the Sundance Film Festival back in January. On Friday, Woodrell's blunt vision of the frailties and grotesqueries of the human condition, will hit theaters in New York and Los Angeles. On June 18, the film is scheduled to open in Springfield -- and nationwide.

Directed by Debra Granik, and starring Jennifer Lawrence, John Hawkes and Kevin Breznahan, Winter's Bone is the story of a tough-minded 17-year-old Ozarks girl named Ree Dolly who is forced by circumstance to demand exactly what no one else wants to offer -- the truth.

When the sheriff brings news that Ree's father put the family's house up as bond after his arrest for cooking meth -- and that he has subsequently gone on the lam -- Ree goes looking for Dad to convince him to turn himself in.

RFT in late December of 2006 wrote a lengthy profile of Woodrell and spent time with him at his home in West Plains, Missouri, a town of about 11,000 residents located deep in the "bull's-eye heart of the Ozarks," as Woodrell likes to put it.

Woodrell talked about his fascination with the hills and hollers of the Ozarks and the many characters and desperados who populate this desperate landscape. The author said he based the hard-boiled Dolly kin on the West Plains Collins family, who, like the Dollys, share a knarled family tree.

In the West Plains phone book lists 250 Collinses, many of them residing along a stretch of Highway 14 -- a place of charred remains of shacks consumed by meth lab fires, where four-wheelers double as beer-drinking stools.

It'll be interesting to see if Hollywood does it justice.