Winter's Bone (2010 95min.) [BBC2 10.30pm]
Oscar-nominated thriller starring Jennifer Lawrence and John Hawkes. Seventeen-year-old Ree Dolly lives in a poor rural backwater in the Ozark Mountains and struggles to look after her mentally ill mother and younger brother and sister. So when she finds out that her drug-dealing father has skipped bail after putting their house up as collateral, she's forced to go looking for him. Her dogged investigations lead to warnings, threats and, finally, violence.
A wonderful film, staggeringly beautiful in places. Directed with a real feel for the subject matter by Debra Granik.
It's not a warm film in any sense of the word : the atmosphere and tone is of a blood-freezing chill, the landscape is wrapped in a blanket of winter throughout and none of the characters are truly sympatheic or likeable.
Jennifer Lawrence (who was 20 at the time she made the film) puts in a perfectly judged perfomance of steely determination and resolve and the ensemble supporting cast are all note perfect.