Inauthenticity can come in a variety of forms. Debra Granik’s Winter’s Bone, which she and Anne Rosellini adapted from a Daniel Woodrell novel, bends over backward to convince us that its portrait of life in an Ozarks community blighted by poverty, drugs and brutality is the documentary truth. But the picture is as phony as a three-dollar bill.
Cinematographer Michael McDonough textures the film to look like old sepia photographs. The actors are clearly chosen because they look as if they belong in this setting: wary eyes in emaciated faces, exhausted bodies that look used to punishing daily labor. And Granik keeps them tightly reined in.