Indie film pared to the bone in "Winter's Bone"

Fri Jun 18, 2010 12:03pm EDT
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By Bob Tourtellotte

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - What if there were no independent film business? There might be no "Slumdog Millionaire," no "Little Miss Sunshine," no "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" or "The Blair Witch Project."

There might be no Ryan Gosling or Maggie Gyllenhaal or Quentin Tarantino.

No "Winter's Bone" or Jennifer Lawrence.

What, you ask. Who?

Those are the same questions audiences asked about "Swingers" in 1996, but no one wonders now when thinking about that film and its key players, actors Vince Vaughn, Jon Favreau and director Doug Liman.

Whether moviegoers remember "Winter's Bone," its director Debra Granik or the movie's lead actress, 19-year-old Lawrence, awaits how the movie plays at box offices over the next few months and whether it can gain critical attention that puts it in Hollywood's 2010 awards race.

But two things are for certain. One, amid a dearth of good summer movies from major studios, "Winter's Bone" is among the best reviewed films in theaters and two, like so many indie movies these days it proved hard to find money to make.

"We got really lucky," admits Granik. "But also there are people who care about American art, it's not just the commerce of movies. They are curious about how to keep that part of the American film culture alive. The small, the scrappy, the marginal, the regional."   Continued...