Steven Rea, Inquirer Movie Columnist and Critic
Good news for Winter’s Bone fans, and for Debra Granik, its director, and Jennifer Lawrence, its star: the Gotham Independent Film Awards, juried by New York-based writers and filmmakers, and one of the first year-end kudo groups out of the gate, gave the taut Missouri Ozarks mystery its best feature prize, and another for best ensemble acting, on Monday night.
A gripping, chilling, beautifully observed thriller, adapted from the novel by Daniel Woodrell about a teenager who goes looking for her missing father and falls into a world of meance and meth dealers, was released in June to strong reviews and art house box office. But titles released in the first half of the year are typically at a disadvantage come awards time: short-term memories, and a late-year glut of high profile pics often render the early contenders also-rans.
Happily, with the Gotham nods, and the announcement of nominations today from the Film Independent Spirit Awards, Winter’s Bone is back in the hunt. In fact, it received more Spirit Award nominations than any 2010 indie: seven nominations, including best feature, director, screenplay, lead actress (the amazing Lawrence), supporting actress (Dale Dickey) and supporting actor John Hawkes. Cinematographer Michael McDonough was also nominated. The other Spirit Award feature contenders are 127 Hours, Black Swan, Greenberg and The Kids Are All Right.