In Debra Granik’s world, even though she’d been given ample warning by distributor Roadside Attractions, landing an Oscar nomination wasn’t even a possibility. The director and co-writer of “Winter’s Bone” just returned home from the Arctic Circle yesterday (really) having presented her Sundance Film Festival prize winner at the Tromso International Film Festival. She was getting her kids ready for school when a rep from Roadside called her with the news that “Bone” landed four nods including best picture, best actor (Jennifer Lawrence), best supporting actor (John Hawkes) and adapted screenplay for herself and Anne Rosellini.
“The phone rang telling me of this news and I frankly didn’t believe it,” Granik says. “Because one of the members of [Roadside’s] staff has a sense of humor, but it wasn’t a prank and it will take me to believe it. I can’t scream yet because I’m so paralyzed by my shock.”
When asked if she really hadn’t planned on watching the nominations announcements, Granik replied, “I don’t want to sound like a freak, but we really work outside of that system. We work outside of that arena. I wouldn’t have known where to listen.”
On the news, however, Granik also euphorically noted, “I would say I’m kind of vibrating of a very high level of incredulation and adulation.”
Granik’s reaction was prefaced by her appreciation of the 64 other people who worked on the low budget feature and the 20 staff members at Roadside Attractions that turned it into an indie hit.
“There is a reason that directors are behind the camera. It’s hard to be public,” Granik says. “Once they know someone enjoys their film you can do a Q&A, but accepting recognition? Me and 64 others who are being told ‘Hey you did a good job there.’ That’s the one that always felt the weirdest. That’s shocking.”
The filmmaker didn’t think they had a chance for the best picture or screenplay nomination and clearly believes her trip to Los Angeles for the Oscars will be the win. Of course, there have been numerous surprises in the screenplay categories when it comes down to the actual winners, but perhaps Granik will consider that possibility once she comes down from this amazing high.
“Throbbing thanks to anyone who responded to the film and made it known. All we have known, all we have is this capital letters, triple underlined thanks.”