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'Winter's Bone' to Premiere in the Ozarks

For the first time since its big win at the Sundance Film Festival, “Winter’s Bone,” a film shot in the Ozarks, will be shown locally. Many of the actors from the film were cast from the area and will be attending these showings. KSMU’s Royal Yates spoke with them to find out more.

Daniel Woodrell’s novel, “Winter’s Bone,” tells the story of 17-year-old Ree Dolly. She’s on a journey to find her meth-addict father, who put their house as collateral for a bail bond and then disappeared. If she cannot find him, Ree and her family will become homeless and could be forced to live in the Ozarks woods. As Ree tries to find her way through her family’s web of lies, evasion, and threats, she slowly discovers the truth.

Actors from the Ozarks who had roles in the film didn’t expect it to go as far as it has. Winning the Grand Jury Prize for Best Picture at the Sundance Film Festival was a big surprise, and has left many people in the Ozarks anticipating the film’s debut here.

Marideth Sisco is a regional musician who played a role in the film and helped create the soundtrack. She recalls the day the film won at Sundance.

She told us, “Those who were at the festival were talking about this one film. You’d hear people talking on the buses who said, ‘You have to see ‘Winter’s Bone,’ I don’t care what it takes – you have to get tickets, you have to see this movie.’ And we’d hoped for something, but then they called ‘Winter’s Bone,’ and that was probably one of the high points of my whole life. That was such a rush!”

The premiere of ‘Winter’s Bone’ is Thursday night in West Plains at the Glass Sword Cinema. Tickets are sold out, but all proceeds are being donated toward charities. The profit from all concession sales that night will be given to help those who are fighting an addiction to methamphetamine.

Glass Sword owner Gary York says meth addiction is something everyone in the Ozarks should be fighting against.

He says, “I don’t know whether you know about the meth problem, but it’s pretty well known that a code name for meth in the United States is 417. 417 is the area code for this area, so that’s pretty serious.”

‘Winter’s Bone’ is currently touring festivals in the United States as well as Europe. Some local actors say they feel this is the first time Europeans are getting to see this side of America. Charlotte Lucas, who played a small role in the film, says all of this really happened very quickly.

“I had high expectations for the movie. Being in it, of course, you always wonder what the final product is going to be, and it far exceeded my expectations,” she said.

The film will be debuting in Springfield at the Plaster Student Union Theater on the campus of Missouri State University on Friday at 7pm.

The next time folks in the Ozarks will get the chance to see the film will be June 18th, when ‘Winter’s Bone’ will be shown at Springfield’s Campbell 16 Cine.

For KSMU News, I’m Royal Yates.