Jennifer Lawrence stars in this bleak tale about a woman (Dee) struggling to take care of her Mother and three young siblings somewhere in the Ozarks region of Arkansas after her Father elopes and looks like he’s going to jump bail. She’s got to find her Father otherwise they’ll loose the family home.
It portrays the bleak nature of the tale with very heavy filtering on the camera throughout. The first act is sparse and sees Ree visiting various extended family member’s homes for information and getting rebuffed. Jennifer Lawrence is great in the role of tough, determined but a little naïve Dee and there’s a scene with an Army enrolment officer which is fun and a rare moment of light-heartedness. Another high-point shows great subtlety and tension where there’s a stand-off with a cop around a pickup truck.
These two points apart, it’s pretty much all on the same note, which does get a bit boring. There’s nothing to grip onto – the film slips through your hands despite you trying to hold on and it sinks into the lake.
2 on 5
Director: Debra Granik
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, John Hawkes, Lauren Sweetser, Garret Dillahunt, Dale Dickey, Shelley Waggener UK Release: 17th September 2010