As a movie buff, I am always interested in the Oscars. I can't help it, but I will watch the Academy Awards presentations every year, no matter how absurd or guady the show is.
As a mystery reader, I am most interested in the four nominations garnered by Winter's Bone. Winter's Bone has been nominated for best picture, best adapted screenplay, best supporting actress for Jennifer Lawrence and best supporting actor for John Hawkes.
I hope the attention to this small, lovely film brings more attention to its source material -- the novel by Daniel Woodrell.
Woodrell often has been called the "poet of the Ozarks," which fits. Woodrell writes about an area seldom shown in fiction -- the Missouri Ozarks. His characters are poor with hard-scrabble lives where violence, dysfunction and homemade drugs often enter the picture. His novels also are filled with hope and show how people can overcome anything.
Woodrell also is a beautiful writer whose prose is indeed akin to poetry.
Tomato Red, his sixth novel, won the 1999 PEN USA award for Fiction, and his second novel, Woe To Live On, was adapted for the 1999 film Ride with the Devil, directed by Ang Lee.
One of my favorite Woodrell novel is The Death of Sweet Mister, an uncomfortable look at a young mother, her brutal boyfriends and her impressionable son.
See the film, but also read the novels
Photo: Jennifer Lawrence in Winter's Bone.