This stylistic break in the gripping Ozark drama may seem random at first, but it makes perfect sense
Atmosphere is everything in this film version of Daniel Woodrell’s novel, set in a poor rural area of the Ozark mountains, where life seems to have changed little in the last 50 years. When the film begins, 17-year-old Ree (Jennifer Lawrence) is already under immense pressure, caring for two younger siblings and a mentally deteriorating mother after her dad — who was never much help to begin with — has gone AWOL, maybe for good. When she’s given less than a week to save her family’s home — the only thing standing between them and the hard lives of woodland creatures — the strain becomes nearly unbearable.
The scene we’ve highlighted here occurs about two-thirds of the way through the story. It’s the most surprising scene in the film, not because it gives anything away — it’s a dream sequence, with oblique imagery that invokes earlier events and foreshadows future ones — but because it’s stylistically different from the rest of “Winter’s Bone.” It’s almost a little abstract short film stuck in the middle of a visually conservative, Deep South spin on hard-boiled detective fiction. But it only feels random the first time you see it; by the time the final credits roll, every part of it — from the close-ups of panicked woodland creatures to the roar of chainsaws — makes perfect, beautiful sense.
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Lisa Montgomery embraces her nephew Thursday after a tornado tore apart her home in Cleburne, Texas. The twister killed six people and destroyed entire swaths of the North Texas town.
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Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
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A photo taken Monday captures Vice President Joe Biden's response to a Milwaukee second-grader's innovative proposal to end America's epidemic of gun violence. This guy!
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Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
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Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
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Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
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O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
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Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
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When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
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A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
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