This is the final movie that I saw at the Best Picture showcase. I still have not seen Black Swan but I am on the holds list for it at the library. Again, this is another movie that I probably would not have watched had it not been nominated for Best Picture. I didn't really know any of the actors, never heard of the book that it was based on and I normally do not see talking dramas in the theater. It's also a small indie flick which I don't see too often especially if I know nothing about it. However, I am very glad that I did and I do think that all the nominations for this movie were greatly deserved.
I loved Jennifer Lawrence in this movie. This is the first time I've ever seen her and she was wonderful. She IS the movie. Since I haven't seen Black Swan, I cannot compare Lawrence to Natalie Portman but I can say that I do believe that her nomination was rightly deserved and she was my favorite to win. Her character is heartbreaking. Ree is only 17 years old yet instead of doing things that most teen girls would do, she has to become the head of her household. Her father is gone, her mother appears to be mentally ill or severely depressed and she has to watch out for her two younger siblings. I think that most teen girls need to look to Ree as a role model. She doesn't complain about how her life is and she sacrifices everything to take care of her family. Her search for her father is heartbreaking. I can totally see why she got chosen to play Katniss in the upcoming Hunger Games movie. Though I still would have been thrilled if Haliee Steinfeld had been chosen, Lawrence is going to be a very good Katniss. I felt like Ree probably would have done very well in the Hunger Games.
I had only seen John Hawkes in one role before this movie: Lennon on Lost. And I thought he was fab (haha) in the 3 episodes that he was in. Still I was pretty clueless about his acting as I haven't seen him in anything else. After watching this movie, I want to see him in more. Teardop is Ree's uncle and he's not exactly the loving type. When Ree goes to see him to inquire about her father's whereabouts, he tells her not to look for him or else there will be trouble. Throughout the movie, his character seems to be rather conflicted. There are times when he's abusive, mean and rather creepy. Then there are times where it seems that he does care about Ree and her siblings because they are his family. The scene in the car with the gun and the cop was played out very well. I also love it when the garage door rises after Ree's confrontation and Teardrop is slowly revealed.
The movie takes place in the Ozarks which seems almost like it's a completely different culture from the rest of the world. Blood is very important in this area and it determines where you stand and who your allies are. Outsiders don't seem to appear that often, this movie is also very white. There's a heavy drug culture in this area but Ree never partakes in any of it. I felt this movie to be a tame rated R. There's some language, drug use and a little violence but not nearly as compared to other rated R movies.
When the movie was done, I heard several people saying that it was very slow and boring. I will admit that this is not your action packed adventure. It does tend to be a bit slow at times and especially after seeing The Fighter right before watching this one which was quite intense, it was quite a different change of pace. However, I thought the story was very interesting and the acting was excellent. I'm really glad that it got nominated because it got a wider audience and people like me, who normally wouldn't have seen it, got a chance to. As I stated all the nominations are greatly deserved and looking back, I do wish it had won one of them (preferably Lawrence for Best Actress). I'm so glad that the Academy went more diverse and picked this little known picture as one of best of 2010.
Book: Henry and the Chalk Dragon by Jennifer Trafton
16 hours ago