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White Bird In A Blizzard



MV5BMTEwOTY0MjY4MjBeQTJeQWpwZ15BbWU4MDg4OTQ5NDIx__V1__SX1217_SY602_Released: 2015

Directed By: Gregg Araki

Starring: Shailene Woodley, Eva Green

Certificate: 15

Reviewed By: Liam Hoofe

‘I was only 17 when Mother disappeared’ explains Shailene Woodley’s Kat Connor in Greg Araki’s big screen of Laura Kasische’s novel White Bird in a Blizzard.

The line, arguably the best opening line of a movie so far this year is uttered with a flippancy and disconnect that sets the tone for the rest of the film. Kat has just turned 17, her hormones are raging, her sex life is struggling and perhaps most worryingly of all, her mom has just seemingly disappeared off the face of the earth.

Eva Green takes on the role of her mother, Eve, a troubled woman whose better days are long behind her. Once upon a time she met a charming, reliable husband and had the world at her feet but over the years the spark has gone out and domestic monotony has kicked in. Eve has become increasingly neurotic, as we are shown through a series of flashbacks and is desperately trying to recapture the glory days, even if that does mean living vicariously through Kat.

White Bird in a Blizzard positions itself somewhere between a who-dunnit and a coming of age drama. As the circumstances behind her mother’s disappearance becomes clearer we see Kat grow into her own woman more and more, moving out of her parent’s shadows and crafting her own path.

Woodley gives perhaps her best performance to date as Kat; subtle and multi layered Woodley shines as she wrestles the various different emotions created by all of her problems, giving one of the years best performances so far. Whilst Eva Green is at her camped up neurotic best as her troubled mother.

The work of Greg Araki has often divided opinion but White Bird in a Blizzard feels like his most accomplished work to date. From the films very opening line Araki develops a left of centre reality, a world where everything seems somehow cold and disconnected. Yes Kat’s mother has disappeared but this never seems as important to her as her sex life with her hapless boyfriend, or her social standing. Instead we watch as she discovers that her life hasn’t been quite what she thought it was. Her mother and father were far from perfect and as she discovers this we watch her grow into her own person. Araki’s film brings back memories of the works of Todd Haynes and David Lynch, creating a suburban nightmare where everyone is tied to each other through their secrets and lies.

White Bird in a Blizzard is one of the more puzzling releases of 2015 so far and repeat viewings will no doubt prove beneficial. This is both Woodley and Araki’s best work to date and is well worth checking out.

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