Winter’s Bone, an arthouse detective drama now out on DVD, is the Scots-Irish hillbilly equivalent of all those fine recent movies about the Irish Catholic Massachusetts underclass such as The Fighter and The Town (which Winter’s Bone edged out for a Best Picture Oscar nomination). It’s splendidly written and acted, although poorly lit.
Two decades ago, I would frequently set out from my corner office across Wacker Blvd. from Chicago’s Sears Tower for remote Bentonville, Arkansas, where I would be severely out-negotiated by Walmart’s Ozark Avengers. Sam Walton had made himself the richest man on Earth in part by demanding that us city-slicker salesmen leave behind corporate America’s expense-account bonhomie of skyboxes and wine lists to come wrestle over bottom-line terms with his hungry staffers in his headquarters’ windowless interrogation cells.