"It's funny how the colors of the real world only seem really real when you viddy them on the screen."

Friday, December 23, 2011

Winter's Bone and Animal Kingdom

"I said shut-up once already with my mouth!"

These two films are a tense and depressing look at the pain caused by drug addiction and then some. They were excellent. I watched both these movies behind spread fingers in places. NO spoilers below.

Winter's Bone is reminiscent of True Grit - it's the story of a young girl, Dee, in the Ozarks looking for her father and coming up against some tough characters in the process - but the dad and others are all running meth labs in this one. Of course they're all using too, and they look it. I love the girl in it; she's got balls the size of coconuts. And her uncle reminded me of a sketchy Dennis Hopper. I miss him. All the characters are a bit scary and dangerous. The interesting thing is how some real creepers end up seeming nice relative to the other truly creepy dudes. There was a plethora of creepy. The tender moments mixed in helped keep us going. We all need something to hang on to.

Animal Kingdom is an Aussie film about a family of criminals, some better than others, and their war with the police and each other. The characters are just as mean, but are cleaned up enough to be slightly less frightening on the surface.

In both films the women seem powerless and just rolling with the punches, but they show their subtle and substantial power as the films progress. Both films point out the role police play in adding to the violence, and that we can never know who to trust. Ever.

The films are also about the hopeful dependence on family. We can't trust the police, for sure, but can we trust our family? We never know for sure. We can't ever put our finger on when people will shift from good to evil or back again. It's always a gamble. But once in a while, some people are okay, and that's about all we can hope for.

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