Sunday, January 09, 2011

Supporting Actress Blog-A-Thon: Dale Dickey as Mereb in Winter's Bone

In reflecting on the supporting female performances of 2010 a under-praised performance that has stuck with me is the harsh performance by Dale Dickey in the critically acclaimed indie-film Winter's Bone.

Dickey, who at 49 has relatively limited feature length credentials, does a bang up job as Merab in Debra Granik's adaption of the Daniel Woodrell's book with the same name.

Merab is a harsh gatekeeper of her home and family, who's husband (Trump Milton, played by Ronnie Hall) is in essence a small time crime lord in the Ozarks. While Dickey not only protects her husband in minor ways by screening people who might come to her house, as the action intensifies Dickey's performance is utterly chilling whenever she steps on screen.

Jennifer Lawrence as Ree Dolly and John Hawks as Teardrop Dolly have received a respectable amount of praise, including Screen Actor Guild nominations, and while I don't expect similar praise for Dickey's smaller role, I have to think that this performance will no go unnoticed.

Dale Dickey certainly as a supporting actress can fulfill a unique niche as an actress, and I would hope to see her in more roles, because if she can knock out other roles like she did here in Winter's Bone, I think she could really become a Hollywood actress, because in my assessment her role in this film is flawless.

It's not just that Dickey nails the role, but without her consistent performance, I don't think Jennifer Lawrence's star-turning performance would be nearly as powerful.

Thanks Dickey for being the creepiest female performance of 2010, it was great!

This post is my contribution to the 2010 5th annual Stinky Lulu Supporting Actress Blog-A-Thon.

Previous StrangeCulture entries include: Adriana Barazza (2006), Allison Janney (2007), Frances McDormand (2008), Rosamund Pike (2009).


arteriole said...

I loved her as Opal McHone in Christy!

Alex Constantin said...

it's a fun to watch performance, no doubt about it. But I think the role just wasn't "written" enough to move into awards consideration (just like Winona for Black Swan)

Popcorn and Cigarettes said...

Dickey's work in Winter's Bone was absolutely masterful. I cannot believe people have seen the film and are not nominating her!

Robert said...

Oh I loved her in this as well. She totally should be getting more attention - those eyes are SO haunting!

Walter L. Hollmann said...

My favorite character/performance in Winter's Bone. She's strangely relatable, even as she closes herself off. And when she's pissed, Lord have Mercy, I would not mess with her!

Marc Azada said...

Dale Dickey did a wonderful job in Winter's bone. She truly deserve the recognition that she is getting right now.