Kathryn Bigelow speaks up for ‘Winter’s Bone’

Posted by · 8:15 am · January 6th, 2011

Given that it’s currently fighting tooth and nail for a place in the Academy’s tight Best Picture lineup, scrappy fringe darling “Winter’s Bone” could use some high-profile cheerleaders as we head into the home stretch of voting. And as Steve Pond reports, it just got one, in the shape of reigning Best Picture and Director winner (and member of the Academy’s Board of Governors) Kathryn Bigelow.

Bigelow, who has some idea how it feels to be the indie spoiler in the race, recently hosted two private screenings of the film — though she has no personal connection to it or to director Debra Granik. (This makes it slightly different to Julia Roberts’ recent Academy-targeted reception for former co-star Javier Bardem.) Speaking to The Wrap, she waxes lyrical on the film:

I just think it’s a masterful film that deserves exposure – and if I can do anything to help it out, I’m happy to do it … I was fascinated to meet [Debra Granik], because the film is so perfectly crafted. The performances are extraordinary, Jennifer Lawrence is a star turn. And it’s got this prescient knowing, this confidence you feel watching a film that’s haunting and provocative. It’s just a magnificent film.

Of course, people will inevitably pick up on the resonance of Bigelow championing a film by a fellow female filmmaker — though it’s worth remembering she was reluctant to play the gender card throughout her 2009 awards campaign, so clearly she’s supporting a film rather than a cause. Moreover, it’s interesting to see her lending a hand to a film so different from her own work in form and texture. Here’s hoping Bigelow’s many admiring Academy peers are listening.

[Photo: Slate]

→ 16 Comments Tags: , , | Filed in: Daily

16 responses so far

  • 1 1-06-2011 at 8:19 am

    Loyal said...

    I can’t think of Bigelow without laughing thanks to The Onion’s “People Who Mattered in 2010” list.

    Kathryn Bigelow – First Woman To Win Oscar For Best Directress

    “The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is to be commended for its charitable act in awarding the former Mrs. James Cameron, a female film director who now goes by the name Kathryn Bigelow, the first Oscar for Best Directress. The trophy, which was given to Bigelow for her delicate and mannered touch in female-directing The Hurt Locker, is identical to a director’s Oscar in every detail aside from the breasts, the cocktail dress, and the ironing board clasped in its hands in lieu of a sword. “I’m extremely proud of her Oscar,” James Cameron said of his former wife. “I myself have won three.” Cameron is the director of the Academy Award–winning Avatar, which has grossed $2.8 billion worldwide, as well as such beloved American blockbuster classics as The Abyss, Aliens, and Titanic.”

  • 2 1-06-2011 at 8:25 am

    Robert Hamer said...

    If her support helps John Hawkes, I’m all for it.

  • 3 1-06-2011 at 9:21 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    People host screenings for films all the time this time of year, and the names are generally much bigger than Kathryn Bigelow. But good on Roadside for getting this out to the press to alter perception. If only Wenstein was willing to get on the record with who’s hosting stuff for The King’s Speech…

  • 4 1-06-2011 at 9:22 am

    The Dude said...

    Winter’s Bone is currently my #3 of the year, so I’m hoping she upsets and slides into the best director race. Wishful thinking (a best picture nom is also not a sure-thing at this point), but with Bigelow backing her she might have a fighting chance.

  • 5 1-06-2011 at 9:30 am

    Maxim said...

    “and the names are generally much bigger than Kathryn Bigelow.”

    Is it because her name is ‘big’ and ‘low’?

    On a more serious note, could it be that the timing of Kathryn’s support trumps her relative obsurity and could actually end up making people pay attention?

  • 6 1-06-2011 at 9:35 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Of course it’ll make some people pay attention, and that’s fine and good. I’m just noting the obvious media pitch embedded here. While the same thing, as always, is happening behind the scenes elsewhere. In a nutshell: big deal. It’s all pageantry.

    (Man, it’s way too early in the morning for me to be THAT cynical already on this fine Thursday…)

  • 7 1-06-2011 at 9:47 am

    JJ1 said...

    Kris, I remember you saying that you did not feel that Winter’s Bone accurately depicted the South as you know it.

    So I’m curious (and I’m sure you’ve written of this elsewehre, I’m sorry) … what is your overall opinion of the film, the performances, etc.. What would you give it out of 4 stars?

  • 8 1-06-2011 at 11:43 am

    Hans said...

    I finally saw it yesterday. It’s an admirable film with its great moments, a top notch performance from Jennifer Lawrence, an understated turn from John Hawked, and gorgeous cinematography. I also quite liked Dale Dickey as the icy but somehow sympathetic Mehrab. Overall, though, it just didn’t resonate with me as much as many others; it probably falls outside my top 10, but I’ll warrant it another look in the future.

  • 9 1-06-2011 at 12:50 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    I think, the depictions aside, it has a great sense of pace and the performances are fine. Lawrence is fantastic. Hawkes is good in everything he does. Dale Dickey kind of put me off a bit as she represented the hyperbole of the cultural depiction, I felt, but I think Granik is a great filmmaker. I just have issues with this one.

  • 10 1-06-2011 at 1:37 pm

    JJ1 said...

    I think we’re on the same wavelength on the film. I appreciated it more with 2nd and 3rd viewings, but there’s still something holding me back …

    I think it’s that the story doesn’t fully deliver on it’s intriguing set-up/promise.

    I keep floundering between 2.5 and 3 stars out of 4. Sounds like you have a similar feeling.

  • 11 1-06-2011 at 2:12 pm

    Keil Shults said...

    What’s Bigelow’s e-mail? I need to tell her to mention John Hawkes next time she speaks to the press about the film.

  • 12 1-06-2011 at 2:41 pm

    JTag said...

    Kris, I think it should be noted that Kathryn Bigelow also hosted a special Q&A with Ben Affleck after a recent screening of The Town. Maybe that just didn’t have press attendees to get the quotes.

    Still pissed that Winter’s Bone was left out of the PGA – thrilled that Bigelow’s name gets it back in the press for a little bit.

  • 13 1-06-2011 at 3:56 pm

    The Other James D. said...

    Glancing at the Oscar predictions sidebar’s Actress and Supporting Actress sections, it’s interesting to note that “L” comes before “K” in Kris’s alphabet.

  • 14 1-06-2011 at 5:20 pm

    Kevin K. said...

    It’s really great to see her championing a fellow indie director, especially one she has no vested interest in. Winter’s Bone was my #11 last year, but I’ve considered moving it into my ten recently, or at least placing it as a tie with my #10. She’s right, truly a great film, dare I say a minor masterpiece of sorts, even though it isn’t for everyone. Just great to see other filmmakers championing little indie films to get them out there for people to see, and hopefully help Debra Granik, Jennifer Lawrence, and John Hawkes get more attention.

  • 15 1-07-2011 at 2:37 am

    Helen said...

    “Here’s hoping Bigelow’s many admiring Academy peers are listening.”

    I hope they’re NOT. Winter’s BORE is one of the most dreadful pieces of shit that came out this year.

  • 16 1-07-2011 at 8:39 am

    JJ1 said...

    lol ^ I don’t completely agree. But the comment made me laugh, nevertheless.