McClurg Jam

McClurg Jam

Saturday, August 14, 2010

"Winter's Bone" the movie



I finally saw Winter's Bone, the movie. I had read the book a few years ago and really liked it. They used some music in the score that we like. Some that stand out are "The Missouri Waltz", "Further Along", "High on a Mountain Top" "Angel Band" and more.

I was excited to see Kim and Jim Lansford in a small appearance at a Jam scene. Kim was affecting a grim affect and Jim Lansford was kind of just sitting there. He was wearing his beret which is kind of out of the norm for the area but seeing that you could say he was playing himself, I guess it works.

The level of playing was a bit basic.The band "Dirt Road Delight" played much of the music, Marideth Sisco sang the Missouri Waltz at the beginning. In some ways, the way they played fit the movie real well. Dirt Road Delight has a Myspace page and Ms Sisco has a webpage. Google them and visit their sites. I am happy to see they did that and did not put in a bunch of Celtic music which is by no means germane to the story. It drives me crazy to see any movie about the Ozarks and to have Irish music playing for the score. Jeez! Don't they know there is an indigenous musical culture in the Ozarks?

The author of the book is Daniel Woodrell and based his story on an area a tad south of West Plains Mo. where the author lives. West Plains also has a fine Old Timey and Bluegrass based festival every year which the Lansfords have played at in the past.

One final note. I lived in the Southeast corner of the Ozarks for several years and parts of south central and southwest Missouri and found the portrayals spot on as to the way people, at least some people are down there. Of course there are good normal people there but there are certainly plenty of the courser kind shown in the book and movie. I used to be related to people like that. In fact, I still am!

It's a hardscrabble life for many people down there. You can look down your noses at these people but you would be missing out on something if you did. I learned a lot from those folks down there. Things to help you survive. Ree Dolly, the main character is emblematic of the toughness people have to acquire to survive in a context of mental illness, drug abuse, stupidity, ignorance, cruelty, and grinding multi generational poverty.

anyway, it's a very good movie and if you liked the book you will like the movie. It shows the grungy side of the Ozarks but having lived there and still having family there, it's shows it truly. You will maybe be slightly disappointed by the music but then again, maybe not. My wife and I sang along with the ending as it played "Further Along" as the theatre was emptying. I am very moved by that song. See the movie! Read the book!

Oh dang! I almost forgot to say, Jennifer Lawrence played Ree Dolly, the 17 year old "hero" of the story and the main character. She is awesome.



UPDATED THOUGHT: Have you noticed that two books that have been made into movies have featured gritty young females from the Ozarks who set out to set things right for the family and their now dead Fathers. True Grit and Winter's Bone. Interesting parallels. Both are small books too. True Grit is very worth reading. So is Winter's Bone. Was Daniel Woodrell influenced by True Grit. Just about had to be. Ree Dolly is a modern day Matty. Uncle Teardrop? John Wayne? hmmmmmm? I think I'm onto something here....

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