The next time you think your family situation is completely effed, I suggest you watch this movie. Nothing compares to the Dollys.
Set in the backwoods of Missouri, Ree Dolly (Lawrence) cares for her mentally ill mother and her two younger siblings. Dirt poor and left to fend for her family, Ree is one tough 17 year-old country girl. She's willing to do anything to help her family survive, displayed in a particularly gruesome scene involving a squirrel.
Ree discovers that her meth cook father, Jessup, has skipped out on bail and failed to show for court. Ree is told that Jessup put up the house and the land, and that soon her family will lose everything.
Ree doesn't believe that her father simply left town, and with the help of her dad's brother, Teardrop (Hawkes), Ree goes on a quest to find out what happened.
Ree runs into several shady hicks who Jessup probably owes money or dope to. Of course, Ree is treated as her father's representative and things don't go so well for the young teen. She gets beat to hell, actually. What's interesting is that, apparently, Ozark culture dictates that no man is allowed to ever strike a woman, and vice-versa. Women, however, are more than welcome to wail on each other. Prepare for a shocking catfight.
I would like to point out, as I did in the header, that newcomer Jennifer Lawrence and John Hawkes (Saul Starr in 'Deadwood') are truly superb. They make an interesting pair in the movie, as uncle and niece. Although Teardrop is an asshole junkie, he proves to be Ree's guardian angel. And not the nice kind of angel; rather, the kind that stomp on the jaws of your enemies.
I really hope that this movie is recognized at the Oscars. It's definitely an excellent character piece, with a really haunting soundtrack.