17 July 2010

Winter's Bone Redux

I already saw Debra Granik's Winter's Bone at SIFF and loved it but I couldn't resist seeing the film again as a paying customer. I mostly wanted to confirm my laudatory thoughts because I've walked around calling it "the best American film of the year" (though a friend pointed out that Malick just might be coming out with The Tree of Life by the end of 2010, a real challenger on the horizon).

Perhaps because I'm preoccupied with artistic development this week, I got to thinking about the music of Winter's Bone in the second viewing. Since I didn't have to listen closely for crucial plot points, I was better able to enjoy the homespun songs that shroud the background (the music in Sayle's Matewan is the closest comparison I know). I was hoping there was an official soundtrack out there but apparently not.

The main class distinction among the people of Christian County seems to be the presence of satellite tv dishes on the porches of the more successful meth cookers. Those without television, like the Dollys, even consider picking up a banjo and making music (as mandatory instruction on topics like scatter gun safety allows). When Teardrop and Ashlee start strumming at the end of the film, it's a doubly happy moment. Not only will the family live on--they might even excel at something other than drug manufacture.

There's also the news that star Jennifer Lawrence has signed on to the new X-Men picture....It should be a more glamorous role for her but I hope that we aren't looking back in six years with the same wistfulness we feel for the Lost in Translation-era Scarlett Johansson.

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