101 Greatest Screenplays of the 21st Century (*so far)

Optioned just before its publication, Daniel Woodrell’s novel is a taut, highly detailed saga that unfolds deep in the Missouri Ozarks. Seventeen-year-old Ree is a protector for her destitute family—two younger siblings and a mentally ill mother. When they face losing their home if their long-missing outlaw father doesn’t appear for a court date, she’s forced to track down his whereabouts and unearth buried truths. On what attracted her to the novel, writer-director Debra Granik told NPR, “It was Ree, it was the rich descriptions of the area, and it was also the very, very tight structure.”