“Winter’s Bone” is essentially a mob film set in the rural Missouri Ozarks. It’s a great movie, filled with great performances and shockingly uncliched depictions of America’s favorite laughingstock demographic: rural mountain people. The movie, screenplay co-adaptor Debra Granik and lead actress Jennifer Lawrence earned their Oscar nominations.
Granik, who directed the movie, was snubbed in that category. She created a movie where there’s love and self-awareness that you don’t see associated with the Ozarks. In Garnik’s movie, trash is strewn across the lawn for a reason.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s also squirrel-skinning and little kids shooting guns. There’s a teen mom and bluegrass music. Many people are missing teeth. There’s loads of violence, too, which makes it not terribly fit for young children (unlike other Oscar nominated films!).
The bleakness and brutality of “Winter’s Bone” is what makes Granik’s next project so interesting.
She’s currently adapting a treatment of the children’s classic Pippi Longstocking. Maybe it’s not a surprise: Pippi’s the original strong lead girl character. Winter’s Bone’s Ree, played by Lawrence, is a fantastic female role — she’s strong, uncompromising, warm and cunning.
I suppose, then, it shouldn’t be a suprise that Granik has taken on the girl with kooky braids. Here’s why she’s doing the project, according to the Los Angeles Times [via SlashFilms]:
As a kid, I got really envious of men’s coming of age in movies. Their knowledge of darkness would grow, their compassion would grow, whatever it was, it felt like they would gain something, and the female coming of age often was punitive, like an unwanted pregnancy. We’re all like, ‘Oh God, I’m so glad I’m not her.’
…Nine-year-old Pippi is unconventional, assertive, and has superhuman strength, being able to lift her horse one-handed without difficulty. She frequently mocks and dupes adults she encounters, an attitude likely to appeal to young readers; however, Pippi usually reserves her worst behavior for the most pompous and condescending of adults. She turns white around the nose whenever she gets angry, though this rarely happens. Pippi’s anger is reserved for the most extreme cases, such as when a man ill-treats his horse.
Probably best to tread cautiously with the kids around Winter’s Bone. But Granik’s next work? Totally a must-see for all ages.