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Jewish Journal

Lessons from “Winter’s Bone”

by Misha Henckel

February 10, 2011 | 12:16 am

Excellent little movie! It’s a story that embodies determination, gutsiness, unwavering loyalty, unselfish love, tenderness, and courage, as a remarkable young girl triumphs in the face of impossible odds.

Ree Dolly is a 17 year old Ozark Mountain girl, stuck in extreme poverty, dodging a family addiction to meth, and caring for a sick mother and younger brother and sister. She must find her murdered father’s body to ensure that she and her family are not thrown out of their home.

Jennifer Lawrence surprises with a performance that is entirely compelling. If you’ve never seen her before, you will be delighted by this brilliant young actress, whose commitment is felt in each and every moment on screen.

Meanwhile, Writer/Director Debra Granik’s approach is as frugal and unpretentious as the setting in the Ozarks. And she delivers with an authenticity and honesty that leaves the viewer feeling valued and respected. I am very interested in whatever she does next.

What can we learn from this film?

1. True family values!  We see what love, loyalty, and commitment really look like. Ree’s fearless and fierce loyalty to her mother and siblings is a heartwarming reminder of what family is meant to be.

2. Courage. What it takes to rise above the darkness, to stay true when all the forces around you are pushing in the other direction. Ree never wavers, even when she does not know what to do, and has nowhere to turn. She always stays true. This is what I believe, allows her to win out in the end.

I am doing a series of posts on lessons from the films nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars.

Misha Henckel guides individuals to live their ideal lives. Follow her on Twitter @mishahenckel. Email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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