Monday, January 25, 2010

Fish Tank

Sara and Susan and I watched Fish Tank (Andrea Arnold, 2009) in a small packed IFC theater. There was nothing wrong with this film- it is perfect. Fish Tank is an excellent portrayal of a young woman's complex hive of emotions, particularly frustration, rage, tenderness and desire. It's rare that you get to see this fragile time in a woman's life (Mia is 15) portrayed from her perspective and with such honesty, raw authenticity. Perhaps this is because Katie Jarvis who plays Mia is not a professional actress and was asked to audition for this part when she was found on a subway platform in a screaming argument with her boyfriend. Her little sister Tyler (Rebecca Griffiths) is hilarious and heart-breaking as a scratchy-voiced smart-mouth, and Michael Fassbender as her mother's boyfriend, Conner, is extremely attractive and complicated. The whole story is allowed to come together because of the perfect fit of all these characters. The film just never stops, it pushes through to the very end without a breath. I loved Arnold's previous film, Red Road, and I can't wait to see what she does next.

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