Winter’s Bone , a movie not suggested if you are in the mood for a feel good story line, pushes the boundary between audience and character relationship. The first half of the movie, at first slow moving, allows the watcher to believe that the movie’s substance is lacking, but, as the film progresses, one learns that Winter’s Bone is a perceptive yet also unconventional way to show the plot of a life worth noting. The movie, though does pass the Bechdel Test, scores low in the Rep Test due to the one sided viewpoint and stereotype placed on all characters in the film along with the closely related lifestyles that all the characters have in common.
The main character, Jennifer Lawrence noted for her dominant roles, performs as the protagonist in the play. Taking care of her two siblings, without the help of her mentally ill mother and lost father, she provides the film with a character autonomous and self-supporting. Though openly struggling with the hurdles she is forced to deal with, she prevails and finds a way to gain the overall outcome of finding her father. Ree, Lawrence’s character in the film, undertakes tasks that proves she is a capable female role. This is shown through the scenes that include her showing her younger brother and sister to shoot a gun, implementing that school is vital for the kids to continue and her character applying for the army. Overall, the most essential scene to this point, is the final one where she finds her father’s body and assists to cutting off his hands.
Though crucial to the overall understanding of the film, each character is stuck in the realm of southern poverty, drugs, and fulfilling adequate stereotypes of the country “hick”. The overall theme was evident and noticeable due to the the lifestyle that involved farming and an overwhelming amount of intertwined relationships driven by drugs or “cooking”, the term used in the film. Because of this, the movie scored low in having any diverse characters.
When addressing the men in the film, they are also aligned with what can be assumed as also an unmotivated and violent figure that can also be thought of when thinking of the term “hick” used earlier. The men, though some show a few redeeming qualities such as Teardrop (a main character), are more recognizably absent, as Ree's father is, or drunk and violent. Ree, in one scene being brutally beaten by a group of men for her constant inquiry about her father, is an accurate representation of this. This again is shown when going to her aunt and uncle for help, by her hair being pulled and her cheeks squeezed by her uncle. Though he later gives her money to contribute, this compassion is shown behind the scenes and sent to be done by his wife, Ree’s aunt. The outward label of the men shows them to be prominently in control.The director being woman was neither evident nor shown to be one-sided. The film focused on the emotional discourse of the film paired with the intense message being sent to the watcher. The one hour and forty minute film encompasses sympathy, hurt and frustration that coincides with that of the actors. Though given a low rating based of the Rep Test, this does not and should not be an identifier of the overall enjoyment or substance of the film.The Rep Test should focus more on the afterthought that the film provokes by pressuring reflection. Winter’s Bone, regardless of the rating, is one that should be seen because of the thought provoking and gripping plot.