Watch This: Vera Farmiga and Debra Granik shared a breakthrough at Sundance 2004

Every day, Watch This offers staff recommendations inspired by a new movie coming out that week. This week: With Sundance running all week, we look back at some of the festival’s best prizewinners.

Down To The Bone (2004)

Before she gave Jennifer Lawrence her breakout role with 2010’s Winter’s Bone, writer-director Debra Granik made a splash at Sundance—and introduced audiences to Vera Farmiga—with 2004’s bracing Down To The Bone. A wrenching tale of addiction set in a snowy, run-down patch of upstate-New York nowheresville, Granik’s feature debut (co-written with Richard Lieske) takes on a convincing air of cold, bone-deep misery through grainy handheld cinematography that never pushes its vérité style to the point of affectation. Rather, the director’s aesthetics create heightened intimacy for the story of Irene (Farmiga), a mother of two young boys who’s stuck in a loveless marriage to …

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