Two former Sundance Film Festival Dramatic Competition winners I just recently got to see: Frozen River and Winter's Bone. Both feature incredible talent and an ambition for a realistic portrayal of its subjects and the world they live in.
Both films are set in milieus generally ignored and overlooked because nobody bothers. No doubt both deal with tough subjects: organized crime, drug trafficking, illegal immigration, economic and emotional desperation. But both show realities of contemporary America that can't be ignored and they do it in a sensitive and engaging way that is hard to escape.