Friday, February 11, 2011

Oscar Marathon: Winter's Bone & The Kids Are All Right

Winter's Bone: Easily the best movie I've seen so far this year. It's the tale of a young woman searching for her missing father so she can save the family home. The movie takes place in a very poor area of the Ozarks. I feel it does a great job of showing the difficulties of poverty without being in your face about it. The story is told, and the poverty is visible in the background, always there.

The lead is played by Jennifer Lawrence, who should beat Natalie Portman for Best Actress, but probably won't. The Oscars do have a habit of rewarding those with a longer career. John Hawkes does a stellar job as the uncle, and he's my favorite for Best Supporting Actor.

A word of warning, while excellent, the film is pretty damn depressing.

The Kids Are All Right:  This film has made news for being a lesbian movie, as if such things don't exist. But, it's not. It's a family drama/comedy in which the parents happen to be a lesbian couple. They could easily be a hetero couple with only a few minor tweaks to the script. In fact, the family seems to be just so damn normal, which is why I like the movie. Hollywood needs to realize that LGBT folks are normal, and they can be the central characters in a film without it being a "gay" movie.

Other than that, there's nothing particularly great about the film. It's OK, but most people will probably forget about it entirely in a few years.

The film had one moment which kind of pissed me off. In one scene, the daughter criticized another character for being a "slut." This scene was just a toss-in for a bit of comedy, and wasn't necessary for the plot. I find slut-shaming to be rather rude and offensive and, unfortunately, rather pervasive in our society. Women have the right to their sexuality just as men do. I was surprised that this film, written and directed by a woman, would stoop to such a low.

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