I just watched the award winning movie, Winter's Bone (2011) starring Jennifer Lawrence of The Hunger Games. See the movie that got her the role of a lifetime. This is a gritty and unflinching drama about a poor Ozark Mountain girl who has to keep her family going when her drug dealing father turns up missing. It won awards and I give it five stars. Jennifer was amazing.
This movie is a serious look at the casualties of the drug culture in the hinterlands of America. It's a powerful movie and shows the amazing courage of a seventeen year old girl, who has to take charge of her broken family, including two young kids and a mentally ill (clinically depressed and more) mother who can't function. Sound familiar?
This character (Ree Dolley) and Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games share a lot of the same characteristics and I know in my gut that the producers of The Hunger Games saw her in this movie and knew she was the one.
All the actors in this movie, some were just locals recruited to be in the film, were amazing, especially Ree's little brother and sister, as well as her uncle.
Here's a link to a fantastic review: http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2010/sep/16/winters-bone-review
Here's the link to the IMDB page: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1399683/
In this scene Ree teaches her six year old sister and her little brother how to shoot squirrels, so they can feed themselves if something happens to her. In the next scene Jennifer Lawrence actually skins a squirrel on camera and guts it. PETA won't be happy, but I'm sure the squirrel was eaten, and it was a very important scene in the movie. This one isn't for the faint of heart, but it shows that Jennifer Lawrence is the real deal, a true actress who is destined to be a huge star.