Here's a fun thousand words...
Man, I've really gotta practice smiling. Blerg.
I pushed it tonight to make three movies, so I'm afraid I'm in no shape to offer proper rambles on any of them. I'll try to keep it basic...
WINTER'S BONE. Thumbs up! Heartbreaking and beautiful. An amazing young lead, Jennifer Lawrence, plays a modern day Missouri Laura Ingalls (well, y'know, if Pa was a meth cooker whose criminal activities drove Ma into a fugue state) who could kick my ass for calling her "Half-Pint," opposite John Hawkes's remarkable bad-tempered bad-ass uncle with a heart, Teardrop.
Those DEADWOOD people travel in packs. Along with Sol Star as Teardrop, WINTER'S BONE got Jack McCall (or Francis Wolcott, depending on which episode you're watching =), aka Garret Dillahunt) as the meddling Sheriff.
Director Debra Granik and star John Hawkes led a post-show Q&A. Granik fielded most questions, describing an almost anthropological approach to finding authentic locations and populating the film's world with genuine local characters. The girl who plays Ree's younger sister is an amazing find, and she gets to perform/be herself in her own home, which was used as the family's home.
She also related a somewhat frightful low point in the project's quest for funds. Apparently a studio came a-courtin', very interested in the project, but when the time came to seal a deal, the Man on the phone explained to director Granik that once they sign Keanu Reeves as Teardrop, they'd get the budget. Granik made the only decision she could live with, I'd say, and held out for the smaller indie funding they received, and everyone who sees this film is the better for it. (Sorry, Keanu.)
A random anecdotal highlight—"Are the Ozarks a matriarchy?" =)
Hawkes was graciously sporting, allowing me to accost him on his way out after the Q&A. I managed to stammer out how much I enjoyed his work on DEADWOOD, and everything else I've seen him in, and then asked if he'd sign my DEADWOOD season 1 dvd case as well as the BRISCO COUNTY dvd disk with the episode he costarred in, "Showdown." He also accepted a Colbert WristStrong bracelet from me and appreciated my rushed, all-in-one-breath, explanation of the WristWatch campaign. I think it's fair to say that he's super frickin cool. I wanted to get SOMETHING out about LOST, but after a minute or so in his presence, I was pretty well starstruck and useless. I DID manage to blurt out a request for a photo and he was awesome enough to oblige. =)
* May 1, 2010. The NYTimes recognizes Hawkes's greatness, along with that of several other leads in IFFB 2010 features.
DOWN TERRACE. Thumbs up! A lot of mean-spirited gangland family fun! Great cast and dialogue and a clever web of lies and suspicion. Discovered another thespian pack here—two castmembers of SPACED, Marsha and Tires! A totally unexpected treat. =)
MACHOTAILDROP. Thumbs down. I chose poorly when I decided to go for the midnight show. This film wants to be the skate punk's RUSHMORE or NAPOLEON DYNAMITE but falls thuddingly short over and over. There wasn't even a skate chase or final battle or challenge scene!? What up w that? Sorry, MT, boo.
Keep on keepin on~