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Reviews and SPOILERS

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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Sun Jan 17, 2010 6:47 am

http://flavorwire.com/61434/daily-dose-pick-fish-tank


Daily DoseAndrea Arnold Cannes Jury Prize Film Fish Tank Katie Jarvis Kitchen Sink Michael Fassbender
Daily Dose Pick: Fish Tank
2:43 pm Friday Jan 15, 2010 by Jason Jude Chan

Andrea Arnold’s terrific second feature is a clear-eyed portrait of a rebellious British teenager looking for that ever-fleeting taste of honey.

Set in the industrial landscape of Essex, this Cannes Jury Prize-winning entry captures every move and emotion of 15-year-old Mia — a classic case of youth adrift, at once vulgar and vulnerable. In her acting debut (she was “discovered” on a train platform), Katie Jarvis is a true knockout, carrying the film as it cycles through hip-hop dance rehearsals, somber home life, and instances of nascent sexuality, with both a local boy and mum’s handsome but troublesome new beau (Michael Fassbender).

Watch additional excerpts from the film, read a profile of Andrea Arnold, learn more about newcomer Katie Jarvis, see a conversation with Michael Fassbender, and become a fan on Facebook.

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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Mon Jan 18, 2010 1:57 am

http://getcinerad.blogspot.com/2010/01/2010-films-update.html

Fish Tank

Add this to the list of good movies that Michael Fassbender has appeared in. This film has a Dogme 95 vibe to it. The acting is good and the film does display some gritty realism of the life of a British teenager. Go out and find this one.

Overall Grade: B+

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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Mon Jan 18, 2010 2:12 am

http://efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=18827&reviewer=404

Fish Tank
by brianorndorf

"The trouble of the teen girl"
4 stars
A fantastic symphony of characters making poor decisions, “Fish Tank” is a depiction of innocence lost, set against a common backdrop of working-class England, with its claustrophobic habitats and perpetual ambiance of hostility. It’s a dynamite film, but I was caught watching with eyes-through-fingers a few times, fearful moments of exquisite tension would devolve into a Catherine Breillat-style shock-value spectacle. Thankfully, director Andrea Arnold has better taste, making her feature not a depressive cage, but a maze of behavioral patterns and damage with some form of light at the end of the tunnel.

15-year-old Mia (Katie Jarvis) is a lost girl struggling with her negligent mother Joanne (Kierston Wareing), a filthy home, and the images of hip-hop dancing salvation force fed to her through television. Into the family comes Connor (Michael Fassbender, “Inglourious Basterds”), Joanne’s latest fling, who takes a shine to Mia and her prickly disposition. Mia, curious about the attention, becomes infatuated with Connor, unsure how to process her newfound sexual response. Though she stumbles upon a friend in age-appropriate Billy (Harry Treadaway), Mia finds Connor’s advances more persuasive, putting her in yet another precarious situation while the rest of her life continues to slip out of control.

Though not quite as feral as the 1999 Palme d’Or winner “Rosetta,” “Fish Tank” submits a similar sort of impetuous, teenaged, hand-held screen energy, tracking an unpredictable character as she maneuvers through a series of obstacles while trapped in an impossible economic situation. The setting here is England and its lost generation: a track-suited teen nation raised on lousy American hip-hop, unobtainable displays of extravagance found on television, and brimming with chipped-tooth discontent brought on by easily attained alcohol and an absence of parental interest. We’ve been here before, but the general hold of sympathetic study in Arnold’s direction is riveting, taking the audience into areas of conduct that are uncomfortable to watch, yet vital to the overall understanding of Mia and her well-oiled rage.

“Fish Tank” is a generally silent, semi-verite journey that follows Mia as she stomps around her community, put off by her peers as she pieces together a dream for a better life. Her golden ticket out of town is dance, which she practices inside an abandoned apartment, worried to reveal her passion for fear it will be taken away. She picks fights with the locals girls, and grows fixated on a horse chained in Billy’s yard -- a symbolic figure of forecast that Mia takes to heart. She’s a complicated girl with wrath as her one and only exterior speed, yet Connor brings something out of her that’s rarely allowed the light of day: vulnerability. However, he’s a predator of unknown origins, with Arnold plucking a devastating string of tension pulled taught between them; it’s an unnerving sexual energy the picture plays superbly without feeling the need to be lascivious about it. It’s a fresh sensation of curiosity and urge handed to a bewildered Mia, whose only role model appears to be Joanne, a boozy, easy blonde who looks roughly 10 years older than her daughter.

“Fish Tank” visits bleak psychological spaces, and while it’s a good 15 minutes too long, the lasting effect of the film is felt vividly through Jarvis’s raw performance. She’s a caustically metered, wide-eyed observer that acts as the ideal glue for Arnold as the director assembles the chilling pieces of this shattered household together. It’s a pungent display of teenage life, but “Fish Tank” achieves sublime emotional candor, gripping tightly with an electric cinematic hold. It makes the unthinkable captivating.

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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Mon Jan 18, 2010 2:13 am

http://www.paulacarino.com/?p=20

Don’t sweat the technique: Fish Tank
By admin

If you haven’t seen Andrea Arnold’s Fish Tank, you may have heard it described as a sort of lower-class version of An Education, with very different outcomes. It is a bleak coming-of-age tale and twisted love story about an angry British teenager named Mia (played by newcomer Katie Jarvis). It is also a movie about, cornily enough, dancing. As in the dance of life, the cosmic dance, the thing that made Debbie Allen wield that big stick in the opening of Fame. All the characters in Fish Tank dance, but it means something different to each.

Joanne (Kierston Wareing) impoverished single mother of the protagonist — a blurry, bleary, barking figure without much shape in this film — dances alone in joyous, sensual abandon the morning after bringing home her handsome new boyfriend (Inglorious Basterds‘ Michael Fassbender) , as if reenacting her youth, experiencing the sense memory of what it is to be young and desired. Later, she dances to seduce him at a party, and then she dances in resignation and grief after he leaves. Her curvaceous, soft, and just-about-to-sag body undulates effortlessly and comfortably; this is a woman who has always leveraged her flesh to survive.

Early in the film Mia encounters (and regards with contempt) some teenage girls in the tenement yard practicing their dance moves, the girls seemingly intent on using the artform to stake out their territory, compete, and possibly seduce, employing lapdance-y moves from rap videos. But who is it they are trying to seduce? Certainly not the goofy teenage boys watching them. They are destined for greater power plays, on loftier (and more bling-laden) sexual battlefields.

And Mia herself, whose story this is–she is actually the least graceful dancer of the lot, but the most determined. Tomboyish in build and clothing, the scrappy 15-year-old emulates not the girls from the videos but the rappers (male and female) themselves and the breakdancers she admires in YouTube videos. Her style–or the style she aspires to–is less about come-hither and more about moxie and athleticism. Though never stated directly, dancing is her proverbial ticket out of the ghetto, and, though her style is tentative, clumpy, and coltish–she never seems quite able to give herself over to the music–it is her goodwill attempt to communicate and connect with the world, and to establish boundaries of self that her cramped council-flat existence has so far not offered.

The movie hinges —for me— on two pivotal dance-related scenes. The first is an audition at which she tries out to be a nightclub dancer. It is immediately obvious on her arrival at the club, taking her place amongst her fishnet stockinged rivals, that she is in the wrong place, surrounded by the wrong people. Her fellow auditioners are strictly mercenary: pole dancers joylessly making the moves required of them. Painfully out of place in her hip-hop sweats and trainers, Mia is not able to carry on with the audition, sickened by the discrepancy between her artful intentions and the actual requirements of the club-dancing job. Her dreams, inarticulate as they may have been until now, have crashed into the reality of a world that doesn’t need her.

In contrast, the final scene between Mia and her mother and sister, where they dance together to Mia’s favorite song, is the first glimpse we have of the affection and kinship that has been buried under layers of antagonism and competition. In this scene, dance has taken on qualities of tribal ritual. Mother and daughter are not rivals, but partners, capable of trust, acceptance, and affection, even if only for a moment. In a gritty and unsentimental film, it’s a moment that might make you cry if it weren’t over so soon.

If I’ve made this sound like High School Musical, or a Mandy Moore vehicle, or an updated FlashDance, rest assured this movie never gets that obvious. There’s a whole other subplot, and, like every good British indie film, the gloom outweighs the gleam. The soul-stirring is on a microscopic level, and all the more powerful for its subtlety.

(And kudos for a fantastic soundtrack — mostly source music from car radios and tinny Discman speakers — featuring Eric B & Rakim, Bobby Womack, Nas, and others).

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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Mon Jan 18, 2010 2:14 am

http://www.crankymonkeybutt.com/snip/archives/2010/01/big_screen_four.html

Fish Tank
Kinda hard to watch. Super yicky subject. Super fantastic (FANTASTIC) acting. I think this one is now being released wider (saw a review of it in EW) and I highly recommend seeing it. I mean, the subject matter is tough. But the acting is so good. And there's a lot to like here. It really tied me up emotionally. And the main dude, Michael Fassbender, was also fantastic in "Hunger" that I saw last year (and he also plays the Scottish soldier in "Inglorious Basterds"). Dude has fantastic RANGE.

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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Mon Jan 18, 2010 2:21 am

http://www.newsbag.org/?p=25235

Film: Social Realism in a Poetic Lens

Posted on 17 January 2010

“Fish Tank,” starring Katie Jarvis and Michael Fassbender, explores life in an underprivileged and socially challenged world.

IN Andrea Arnold’s new film, “Fish Tank,” an unsmiling 15-year-old named Mia (Katie Jarvis), who lives in a housing project in Essex, in England, becomes close to the boyfriend of her uncaring mother. The man, an Irish charmer named Connor, played by Michael Fassbender, gives her money and lends her his video camera so that she can tape herself dancing to hip-hop. It soon becomes apparent that the relationship between Mia and Connor is becoming dangerously intimate.

Ms. Arnold shot “Fish Tank” in a raw, nonjudgmental and observational style with plenty of hand-held camerawork. The film, which was in the United States on Friday, is recognizably the work of the same unflinching filmmaker who made “Red Road” (2006) and “Wasp,” which won the 2005 Oscar for best live-action short. The consistent look and the working-class milieu of Ms. Arnold’s films align them with the three British directors most associated with social realism: Ken Loach, Mike Leigh and Alan Clarke, who died in 1990.

The difficulties in Britain of raising money to make films prohibits cohesive movements in the national cinema, and like other directors who have worked in a social realist style — including Gary Oldman (the actor, who directed “Nil by Mouth”), Carine Adler (“Under the Skin”), Lynne Ramsay (“Ratcatcher”) and Duane Hopkins (“Better Things”) — Ms. Arnold is something of a lone voice. Her reputation as an auteur could come to rest on whether her films successfully harness her chosen style to express social themes, or whether they are merely anecdotes that look like Mr. Loach’s films.

Ms. Arnold admits to being a fan of Mr. Loach, but is hesitant about making claims for herself as a social realist. “I guess I am,” she allowed during a recent telephone interview. “When people have suggested it, I’ve said, ‘Oh, am I?’ I know it sounds kind of mad, but I just get on and make my films in my own way as best I can. I’m not aware that I’m joining any group. I know that all the people that have made similar films in the past paved the way for me to be able to do it, and I’m obviously influenced by what came before, but I’m not that conscious of it.”

The subject had come up when it was mentioned to Ms. Arnold that a letter published in the British cinema magazine Sight & Sound had ridiculed the notion that she belongs in the same company as Mr. Loach, and went on to claim that “Fish Tank” “offers little insight into social relations, precisely because it isn’t grounded in reality.” The letter went on to accuse “Fish Tank” of “self-satisfied issue-skirting.”

Ms. Arnold, who hadn’t read the letter, responded cautiously when told about it. “I write what I know about, what I understand,” she said. “Usually when I start writing, I don’t have an intellectual idea about it, I just write about the characters as truthfully as I can, using my imagination.

“I hear filmmakers saying, ‘I wanted to make to make a film about this issue, or this theme,’ but I never start like that,” she said. “I always think from the image or from the character outwards. And usually the image has got a character that I can then go and explore.”

Nick James, the editor of Sight & Sound, nonetheless views her films within a context. “Without a doubt both ‘Red Road’ and ‘Fish Tank’ come from the British social realist tradition,” Mr. James said via e-mail. “But it’s a more semi-poetic strain arguably than that explored by Loach, who is nonetheless the godfather of Arnold’s generation of British filmmakers.”

Despite Ms. Arnold’s admission that her films are not issue driven, her characters move in a socially challenged world. In “Red Road” a Glasgow woman, Jackie (Kate Dickie), who monitors public closed-circuit video screens, stalks the former addict who killed her husband and child in a driving accident and infiltrates the threatening high-rise where he lives. There she meets an indigent young couple and seduces her quarry in order to incriminate him as a rapist. Although a tale of revenge, the film leaves an impression of underprivileged people living in quiet desperation.

“Fish Tank” was clearly named for Mia’s entrapment in the high-rise where she lives, but Ms. Arnold — who was raised in public housing in Dartford, Kent — refuses to condemn the apartments where Mia’s family lives. “Some people have said to me, ‘Oh, that bleak estate,’ but I think it’s very normal,” Ms. Arnold said. “Probably in Britain there are more people living like that than there are living in nice Victorian terraced houses. I tried to make the sound design of the film a celebration of the people living on that estate enjoying themselves. There’re all kinds of things in the film that counteract a bleak picture.”

Asked why she shoots in a realistic style, Ms. Arnold said: “I want to make it feel like we’ve dropped in on some people’s lives. With a lot of films, people are sitting on the outside looking in, but I want the audience to get a bit more intimately involved with what’s going on, so that they maybe can experience it a little bit more intensely.”

This can sometimes collide with ideas about social realism. Both “Red Road” and “Fish Tank” turn into morally complex revenge dramas. “Most social realist films are genre films in disguise,” Mr. James observed. “Loach’s films are all melodramas, the Dardennes brothers’ films are often played-down thrillers.” Mia’s drastic response to her altered circumstances at the climax of “Fish Tank” “takes the film to another level of metaphor and meaning,” he said. “Neither enhances the sense of realism.”

Nor does Ms. Arnold’s use of lyricism, typified by two scenes in which Connor carries Mia. First he lifts her from her mother’s bed as she feigns sleep and takes her into her own room. Later she cuts her foot, and he gives her a piggyback ride to his car. Both sequences enter a dreamy erotic space, Ms. Arnold focusing on Mia’s unspoken reaction to physical contact with Connor.

“I was constantly trying to find a way to feel what she’s thinking, and experimented with those moments to try and find that place,” Ms. Arnold said. “If I’d been thinking, ‘I’m going to make a social realist film,’ then perhaps I wouldn’t have done things like that and something would have been lost.”

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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Mon Jan 18, 2010 2:50 am

http://womenandhollywood.com/2010/01/15/fish-tank/

Fish Tank
Published
by
Melissa Silverstein
on January 15, 2010

What I love about Andrea Arnold is that she is not afraid to show the grit and grime in everyday life. In her Cannes Jury Prize winning film Fish Tank (opening today in limited release), Arnold tells the story of Mia, a 15-year-old girl fighting to find her place in the world. She lives in the “fish tank” which is the low-income high rise of Essex with her mom and younger sister. They are a family in crisis. Mom is struggling just to get by, has a bad history of boyfriends, and Mia spend lots of time on her own getting into trouble. So much trouble that she has been kicked out of school and needs to go off to some kind of reformatory. Her dream is to dance her way to a new life. She finds vacant apartments, plugs in her music and dances for hours creating routines. When mom brings home a new boyfriend (Michael Fassbender) who shows affection for Mia and her family, Mia misinterprets that affection in her desperation to be loved.

The film is raw and exciting to watch. You see the uninhibited energy of newcomer Katie Jarvis as she struggles to find her place in the world without any adult guidance. It’s a sad portrait of a girl who is way too alone, but finds sanity in her dancing. From the film notes I learned that Arnold did not give the script to the actors before filming began. She didn’t want them to over prepare. If you haven’t seen her first film, Red Road, you should. She is a great talent, telling hard stories about women. Fish Tank should be seen by anyone interested in seeing a very talented woman director at work.

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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:06 am

http://pejamovie2.blogspot.com/2010/01/watch-online-hollywood-romantic-drama_8659.html

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Fish Tank English Romantic Drama Movie 2010

Cast : Harry Treadaway, Kierston Wareing, Michael Fassbender
Director: Andrea Arnold
Producers: Paul Trijbits, David M. Thompson, Nick Laws,
Christine Langan, Lisette Kelder, Kees Kasander
Screenwriter: Andrea Arnold
Editor: Nicolas Chaudeurge
Genre: Drama
Release Date: January 15, 2010
Runtime: 123 min

Fish Tank English Film Plot:

Life changes for volatile, 15-year-old Mia (Jarvis) when her mum (Wareing) brings home a new boyfriend (Fassbender), who takes an interest in the young woman. Watch online Movie Trailer free Fish Tank English Hollywood Film.The film Directed by Andrea Arnold.

Fish Tank Synopsis :

Fifteen-year-old Mia's world is turned upside down when her mother brings home a new boyfriend.
Fifteen-year-old Mia (Katie Jarvis) is in a constant state of war with her family her school and her neighbors, without any constructive creative outlet for her considerable energies save a secret love of hip-hop dancing. When she meets her party-girl mother’s charmingnew boyfriend Connor (Michael Fassbender), she is amazed to find him returning her attention, and believes he can help her start to make sense of her life—though his seemingly tender demeanor may hide a much more treacherous interior. A clear-eyed, potent portrait of teenage sexuality and vulnerability.
A clear-eyed, potent portrait of teenage sexuality and vulnerability, Fish Tank confirms Oscar® winning filmmaker Andrea Arnold’s stature as one of the leading figures of new British cinema. Fifteen-year-old Mia (Katie Jarvis) is in a constantstate of war with her family, her school and her neighbors, without any constructive creative outlet for her energies save a secret love of hip-hop dancing. When she meets her party-girl mother’s (Kierston Wareing) charmingnew boyfriend Connor (Michael Fassbender), she is amazed to find him returning her attention, and believes he can help her start to make sense of her life—though his seemingly tender demeanor may hide a much more treacherous interior. Fish Tank recently received British Independent Film Awards for Best Director (Andrea Arnold) and Most Promising Newcomer

Fish Tank Hollywood Movie Review :

Andrea Arnold's Fish Tank has hit the road running to Hollywood ! Already it has won the Jury prize at Cannes, and 2 awards for one of it's star's Katie Jarvis (one of top 25 trailblazers 2009 and Best British newcomer) at the EdingburghFilm Festival. Its established stars Michael Fassbender(Hunger)Kirsten Wsareing(recently of Martina Cole's The Take),Harry Treadaway(City of Ember) are excellent, but Andrea's choice of the novice girl's of Essex, have no trouble fitting in with the above.Katie Jarvis-brilliant- and Hollywood have already knocked at her door,Rebecca Griffiths, funny as hell,Charlotte Collins,realistic head butt and enemy to front Katie, and Chelsey Chase,loads of verbal, all with raw and naturalistic performances that can compete with best. All we can say is, it's true what they say about Essex's Girls, they are the best,just look at who these girl's can look up too, Helen Mirren (Southend Girl) comes too mind ,and she ain't done bad.Roll on the Irish,Toronto and SundanceFilm Festival's-FISH TANK is nipping at Slumdogs heels, and that over in the big pond some of the big fish will take the bait. Well done Andrea Arnold and Nick Laws.

All my films have started with an image," says director Andrea Arnold. "It's usually quite a strong image and it seems to come from nowhere. I don't understand the image at first or what it means, but I want to know more about it so I start exploring it, try and understand it and what it means. This is how I always start writing." What does the image of afish tank conjure up for you? On the inside longing to look out, is fifteen-year-old Mia. Trapped in a housing estate. Trapped in a single parent family. Trapped by people around her she can't respect. Trapped in herself. For being fifteen. She has her own inner world, fighting to manifest itself . Fortified by cigarettes and alcohol she can kick in the door of the empty nearby flat. A bare floor. Her CD player. Practice her moves. A better dancer than those kids on the block she just nutted.

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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:08 am

http://www.colesmithey.com/filmblog/2010/01/capsule-feature-andrea-arnolds-fish-tank.html

Capsule Feature: Andrea Arnold's "Fish Tank"

Fish Tank In her second film Andrea Arnold displays a deep engagement with her story of a suburban 15-year-old British girl seduced by her mother's lover. Tough-girl Mia (well played by Katie Jarvis) lives in an Essex housing project with her indiscriminate mother Joanne (Kierston Wareing) and younger sister Tyler (Rebecca Griffiths). Mia never wears anything other than sweats and a hoody. She hip-hop dances alone in an empty apartment living room with a balcony overlooking the industrial wasteland around her. Mia uses dance to ground her identity even though her rapidly changing body is clumsier than she imagines. Trouble arrives in the form of her mom's seemingly innocuous boyfriend Connor (Michael Fassbender). Connor sizes up Mia with the accuracy of a sharpshooter. Liberation, romance, coming-of-age, and familial cause-and-effect are all themes at play. As a filmmaker Arnold strips away artifice by allowing her actors' performances to take center stage. There is a verité quality in the way cinematographer Robbie Ryan frames compositions at unconventionally impromptu angles using natural light. Uncommonly naturalistic performances by the ensemble cast add to this film's kinship to works from British neo-realist directors Mike Leigh and Ken Loach. As an example of modern British social satire, "Fish Tank" is a stellar addition.

Unrated. 122 mins. (A-) (Four Stars - out-of-five/no-halve

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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:05 pm

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/movies/reviews/article_1526357.php/Fish-Tank-Movie-Review

Fish Tank - Movie Review

By Ron Wilkinson Jan 18, 2010, 15:25 GMT

Andrea Arnold puts all her eggs in one basket in this film and the thin storyline fails to carry the day

Emerging writer/director Andrea Arnold was an indie sensation with her Cannes award winning “Red Road” in 2006 and her Best Short Film, Live Action Oscar winning “Wasp” in 2003. Unfortunately, this adolescent slice of life is not in the same league with the mesmerizing and complex “Road.”

“Road” featured Jackie, the traumatized woman who has lost her brother, husband and child, Clyde, the ex-convict with deep seated anger, April, the shy newcomer without a place and Stevie, Clyde’s roommate and fellow ex-con. Jackie is a police auxiliary worker who operates and documents the recordings of dozens of security cameras that keep watch on a particularly dangerous part of the city of Glasgow. True to her back-story she is emotionally numb, her contact with the outside world reduced to the electronically sterilized observation that is her job. She is worried about Clyde, to whom we are introduced through the dehumanized images of the security monitors. As Jackie watches her monitors, she becomes increasingly obsessed with the ex-con who has received an early release from prison and moved back to the neighborhood. Her initially mysterious intentions become increasingly clear as she stalks Clyde, until the final confrontation between the two.

“Fish Tank,” on the other hand, features alienated and angst filed Mia who is at war with her family and everybody else. The problem with the character of Mia has two parts. The first part is that she is too much of a normal teenager and there is no story there. The flip side is that the character does not have sufficient development for the audience to differentiate her from any other loathsome immature young adult who strikes at everything she sees. The result is a film that is tedious and stressful without conveying a story that the average audience member can identify with or learn from.

Mia is played by newcomer Katie Jarvis who makes her acting debut in the film. Jarvis gives the role a good try and the result is a heartfelt performance but there is not enough story to make the character either interesting or believable. In “Red Road” Arnold had the benefit of pre-defined characters as part of the Glasgow Film Office / Lars von Trier Advance Party character concept series. This was probably considered by the members in the program to be both a help and a hindrance. It was a help getting over the first step in constructing a story and a hindrance in having to work with others’ characters.

The conclusion drawn after watching this film is that Arnold really needed that help in developing and originating interesting and believable characters. This film has one performance and that is not nearly enough to make it stand out in the competitive film world. The performance of Kierston Wareing as Mia’s mother Joanne and Michael Fassbender as Joanne’s boyfriend Connor add very little to the screenplay. Both are emotionally and morally adrift but their characters fail to add substantially to the prevailing opinions about such people.

The film was shot east of London although the original concept was to set the film much farther away to the north. In any event the setting is allowed to fade into the background. This is a weakness of the film compared to “Red Road” where at least some viewers would be interested in seeing inside Glasgow, a city that has little or no visibility to the international community. The setting in what is essentially a London suburb offers neither mystery nor the promise of anything new. It is the same suburb that exists outside of cities around the world.

Perhaps the idea in “Fish Tank” is to provide a formless background for the exposition of Mia’s turbulent emotions. The abandoned manufacturing sites provide this but there has to be something to fill in the plot or the result is not interesting.

The film has something in common with the recently released “An Education” in which a young girl takes up with an older man. In this film Arnold manages to exploit some of the creepy guilt associated with the secretive and distasteful relationship between Mia and Connor. However, it does not develop this to the “Lolita” point where the man is significantly changed by the experience. Only Mia changes and change comes easy for teenagers.

Although this film is a fine and heartfelt character analysis of a fifteen year old there is not enough there to make the viewing worthwhile for the average film patron.

Directed and Written by: Andrea Arnold

Starring: Katie Jarvis, Michael Fassbender

Release: January 15, 2010
MPAA: Not Rated
Runtime: 122 minutes
Country: UK
Language: English
Color: Color

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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:08 pm

http://www.arabtimesonline.com/NewsDetails/tabid/96/smid/414/ArticleID/148289/t/%E2%80%98Fish-Tank%E2%80%99-satisfying-film/Default.aspx

‘Fish Tank’ satisfying film Chan should be evicted as ‘Spy Next Door’

A bit of guilt comes with watching the British teen drama “Fish Tank.”

Writer-director Andrea Arnold has created something so real and raw, you may come away with a twinge of guilty voyeurism, a sense of peering too closely and impolitely into other people’s lives.

Putting real life uncomfortably under the lens seems a specialty for Arnold, an Academy Award winner for her 2004 short film “Wasp,” who now makes her follow-up feature film after an impressive debut on 2006’s “Red Road,” a thriller with a heavy voyeur component itself.

Both of Arnold’s feature films won the jury prize, the third-place award, at the Cannes Film Festival. “Fish Tank” is a big step forward, though, a small wonder of social realism that is riveting and harrowing, yet in the end, enormously satisfying.

Arnold made a remarkable find with her teen lead, Katie Jarvis, who had not acted before but proves a natural, at least for the sort of honest intensity the filmmaker needed to anchor the story.

Aspirations
The filmmakers say they approached Jarvis after seeing her arguing with her boyfriend on a train platform. Whatever volatility Jarvis displayed in that encounter was channeled, and then some, for her role as 15-year-old Mia, a youth in trouble on all fronts, at home, at school, among the circle of ex-friends that has cast her out as an angry freak.

A teen with dancing aspirations, Mia practices her moves alone in a vacant apartment in the creaky, crumbling housing projects of Essex, east of London. She wanders the deteriorating old industrial town, picking fights with just about anyone she meets, occasionally turning up at the apartment where she lives and bickers with her single mom (Kierston Wareing) and younger sister (Rebecca Griffiths).

Mom’s new boyfriend, Connor (Michael Fassbender, most recently seen as a British film critic turned spy in “Inglourious Basterds”), becomes both someone new to confront and an intriguing mix of father figure and dream suitor to Mia.

“Fish Tank” is hardly an action film, but the drama unfolds like a train wreck waiting to happen, Arnold taking her characters to the brink and beyond as Mia and Connor test the bounds of appropriate behavior involving a teen no longer a girl, not yet a woman.

Attention
Jarvis’ Mia is a ferocious, hankering spirit, desperate for positive connections with people, compassionate and empathetic despite her prickly exterior. She makes some bad choices and learns that adults often are no better than teenagers at doing the right thing. Mia just learns it in a more drastic way than most youths do.

Extreme things happen, yet it all feels genuine, even inevitable, thanks to the devoted, fearless cast and Arnold’s attention to detail, which helps “Fish Tank” unfold like actual lives playing out on screen.

Arnold reunites with “Red Road” cinematographer Robbie Ryan, whose stark, unadorned images heighten the film’s naturalism.
The title is appropriate. Arnold’s characters are not fish gasping for breath on a creek bank, an image right out of the film. But they do come off as authentic and unaffected, as true to their nature as fish under glass.

“Fish Tank,” an IRC Films release, is unrated but contains scenes of sexuality, sex involving a minor and teen drinking and smoking. Running time: 122 minutes. Three and a half stars out of four.

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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:24 pm

http://www.cynephile.com/?p=77

Fish Tank [Andrea Arnold, 2009]

Fish Tank (which won the 2009 Jury Prize at Cannes) is a skillfully wrought and emotionally tense coming-of-age drama. Much fuss is being made over the acting debut of Kate Jarvis and deservedly so: her performance carries the entire film. Her real-life story is straight out of a fairy-tale: she was discovered having a fight with her boyfriend on train platform.

From time to time a film will remind us of the advantages of using non-professional actors; Fish Tank is such a film. Bazin writes of actors “who play on the screen the roles of their daily lives” and Kate Jarvis certainly comes from a similar background as her character Mia, an abrasive adolescent who dances to hip-hop music and dreams of escaping her impoverished milieu.

The expert Michael Fassbender (Hunger, Inglourious Basterds) plays her mother’s boyfriend Connor, who turns his eye toward Mia while simultaneously filling in for her absent father. In one provocative sequence, he offers an injured Mia a piggyback ride that can be viewed as a protective as well as an erotic gesture.

What most critics have overlooked is that the dynamic between Jarvis and Fassbender, between a non-professional and a professional, mimics the power dynamic in the film. This makes their interactions work on several levels: when Mia watches Connor, her gaze is tinged with curiosity, fascination and a longing to connect; when Jarvis watches Fassbender as an actor, she is studying him with that same curiosity, fascination and desire. Similarly when Conner challenges Mia to perform for him, the actor Fassbender can be viewed as asking Jarvis to demonstrate her acting chops—in effect, to show him all she’s got. Bazin would approve of this parallel to their real-life relationship: in fact, he didn’t advocate solely for the use of non-professional actors but for a “casual mixing of professionals and those who act just occasionally”—what he terms an amalgam of players. It is precisely this amalgam that generates an on-screen relationship worth watching.

Read an interview with Kate Jarvis here.

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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:28 pm

http://www.ingobwetrust.com/?p=1549


Go Fish!

Posted by Chris Lemke under Movie Reviews
No Comments

In real life, humanity is neither all good nor all bad. We live and breathe and flourish in the gray area. We possess a sense of morality and entitlement that is constantly in flux with our mood, environment, and situation. However in film this is rarely the case. There is a protagonist, an antagonist, a conflict, and a resolution that generally can go one of two ways. Perhaps this is why I am so smitten with Fish Tank and the main character Mia. Fish Tank doesn’t just live in the gray area, it thrives in it. This is a very very good film.

If there’s anything that I want people to learn after this review is the name of two people: Andrea Arnold and Katie Jarvis. Arnold is your writer and director and is one of the best most original voices that I have come upon since I started this blog. She reminds me of the same promise that I had for Catherine Hardwicke after Thirteen was first released. Fish Tank shares more than a few similarities to the previously mentioned film in dealing with the pure angst of teenagers but instead of the focus on the family unit everything falls on 15-year-old Mia. Katie Jarvis handles the torn Mia with such authenticity that there isn’t a second that you don’t ache for this girl. It’s a master class performance from the 18-year-old newcomer that should have her nominated in every way shape and form that she can get.

In a film so centered on Mia, it’s hard for anyone to steal the spotlight but Michael Fassbender knows exactly how to do that. Playing her Mia’s mother’s love interest who seems to have a bit too keen an eye on Mia herself, Fassbender feels almost as much of a victim of circumstance as he is of being a real prick. Fassbender has seen his stock soar of late after starring in the brilliant film Hunger and this year playing the roguish Archie in Inglorious Basterds. This is another great turn from an actor that I can’t wait to see what will do next.

I honestly implore you to find this film in any venue that you can. Like Let The Right One In, I will personally hold myself responsible to just say go download it if you have to because a wide release is never going to happen. If they did, how could Alvin and the Chipmunks the Squeakuel get 3 screens? It’s rare when you find a film that can handle the dredges of real life, the trials and tribulations and still leave you with a feeling of hope, and Fish Tank is that film.

This movie is the latest installment in what I truly believe is British cinema catching up to the Hollywood machine. With such great works like Bronson, Hunger, and An Education. I really love the way that these films are being held in high regard and putting England back on the map.

A

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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Mon Jan 18, 2010 6:46 pm

http://allthemoviesiwatch.blogspot.com/2010/01/fish-tank-saturday-january-16-2010-4.html

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Fish Tank (Saturday, January 16, 2010) (4)

Andrea Arnold appeared on my radar a few years ago with her live-action short, Wasp, which ended up winning the Oscar for that category in 2004. It was a gritty neo-realist picture about a poor woman living in a somewhat rural area with a few out-of-wedlock kids without the financial ability to raise them.

Her follow-up film, Red Road, which was released in 2007, was also about the English lower classes, but this time from the point of view of a woman voyeur. She is not as poor as some, but she watches them and ultimately gets into a relationship with a lower-working-class man.

In her most recent film, Fish Tank, Arnold again delves into the world of poor people living on state assistance with little chance of a future. This is a relative thematic mix of the two previous films, dealing with children in trouble, voyeurism and hopeless poverty. The film focuses on Mia, a 15-year-old girl who loves dancing an hopes to use dancing to get out of the terrible world she's in. She lives with her single mother and her little sister (possibly from another father). She never goes to school, drinks beer all the time and picks fights with girls (and boys) in her area.

She meets a young man who is out of work and down on his luck and begins what seems to be a non-sexual relationship with him. At the same time, her mother meets a man, Connor, who is a decent-seeming guy. He loudly and wildly has sex with her mother, but also cares about her and her sister. He is clearly the most stable male force in her life, but the way her mother goes through men, it's clear he will not be around for too long. At some point her sexuality is peeked by the two men in her life and she begins to play with the idea of acting on it.

This is a world where nothing can really go right for Mia. She knows that life sucks and that she should keep her hopes to a minimum, but she can't help herself sometimes - leading to great disappointments along the way. The gritty frankness of the film is very appealing and puts us directly into the world we are seeing. There are no real flashy techniques used to tell the story - mostly it's a hand-held single camera that takes long shots. This realism helps to make us feel as desperate as Mia and as pitiful and hopeless.

Stylistically the film is wonderful, and is very reminiscent of other neo-realist fare from recent years - movies like Ballast or In-Between Days. The story here is a bit too complex, though, and this doesn't turn out as well as those films. The third act here is a bit sloppy with the story going in a direction is should not. It is a two-hour film and it needs to be only 90 or even 85 minutes.

The acting throughout is very solid. Mia is played by Katie Jarvis who seems to be a non-actor, or a new actor. She is very good and very believable. Connor is played beautifully by the Irish-German Michael Fassbender. This is a really great performance. Connor is a cool, nice happy guy who seems to not see the terrible world that surround him. It is easy to see why Mia is excited by him - he's a really dynamic guy.

I think Arnold really could have used a better story editor for the script - and I think this could have been a very good movie with some minor cuts. There is the nucleus of a good movie here - it just goes on a bit too long. I have generally liked the three films of hers that I have seen - and I look forward to seeing more.

Stars: 2.5 of 4

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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Mon Jan 18, 2010 6:48 pm

http://marissabidilla.blogspot.com/2010/01/fish-tank-and-contradictions-of-being.html

Monday, January 18, 2010
"Fish Tank" and the Contradictions of Being 15
This weekend I had the opportunity to see a free preview screening of a movie called Fish Tank. (It opened to excellent reviews in NYC on Friday, but won't officially open in SF for another few weeks.) Mostly I went because last month I vowed to follow the career of Michael Fassbender, who plays the male lead, and deserves for big things to come his way. OK, I've got a bit of a crush on him. Very attractive man, and it's fair to point that out, because Fish Tank absolutely would not work if he were any less seductive--or any less skilled at playing a flawed and ambiguous character. First he allows the camera to objectify him, then he allows our feelings toward him to grow increasingly complex and uneasy. Another great interpretation.

Katie Jarvis, a first-time actress, plays the lead role of Mia, a teenager living in a housing project with her single mum and little sis. Jarvis' performance in this tricky role is strikingly powerful and direct. Mia is angry at the world, a troublemaker, a candidate for reform school, but she's also curious and tenacious. If someone just encouraged her to put those qualities to constructive use, she could really accomplish a lot. Too bad her mother is immature and spiteful, and she has no adult role models.

Enter Connor (Fassbender), Mum's latest boyfriend, and the first person to encourage Mia's passion for hip-hop dancing and treat her with solicitousness. But, as you can probably guess, there is a thin line between friendly solicitousness and something else that is all kinds of wrong--at least when the people involved are a neglected 15-year-old girl and a charming Irishman about twice her age. This section of the film moves at a slow burn; every little moment of physical contact, such as Mia's putting her hand on Connor's shoulder to steady herself while he bandages her injured ankle, is heightened with sexual tension.

Even though I had a very different upbringing than Mia, I think that Fish Tank gets at something universal about being a 15-year-old girl and receiving contradictory messages about sexuality. Girls mature faster than boys, so at 15, they tend not to be attracted to boys their own age--older guys are where it's at. And the media encourages this tendency, teaching us to think that handsome men get better with age, pairing forty-something leading men with twenty-something starlets. But, the media also tells us that if a teenage girl acts on her attraction to an older man, there's something wrong with her, she's a tramp, she's disturbed. We are taught to measure our worth by the quality and quantity of guys we can attract, then taught that if we attract too many guys, we're sluts.

For instance, I remember when I was in high school, a lot of my girlfriends became obsessed with Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean. We were 16 or 17 years old, and Depp was 40, but we thought he was hot, and the media encouraged us to think he was hot. (And we didn't feel anything for Orlando Bloom, a somewhat more age-appropriate choice among the Pirates cast.) Yet, if, in real life, any of us had been attracted to a 40-year-old man, it would have been a Very Bad Thing. Heck, most of our parents would have freaked out if we'd wanted to date a 21-year-old.

These kinds of double standards can get a girl so mixed up that she makes some very bad choices. It's even worse for Mia, who has probably never seen a healthy adult relationship in real life, and whose ideas about beauty and love and sex have been shaped by too much TV. So, she's 15, she thinks she's tough, she doesn't know how naive she is, and her mum brings home a guy who looks like Michael Fassbender...

Basically, I love how Fish Tank doesn't shy away from the contradictions of being a 15-year-old girl. Given the plot, given Mia's floozy mum and her addiction to music videos, the temptation would be to make Mia a precociously sexual nymphet. But she's not: she wears gray sweatpants and wifebeater tank tops, and she's never had a boyfriend. Though she wants to be a hip-hop dancer, it's not because she associates dancing with sexuality--indeed, she is shocked when she finally makes that connection. The first scene of the film shows Mia cursing and head-butting another girl, then retreating to her room, which is decorated in demure, girlish pastel colors (it actually reminded me of my own teenage bedroom). So underneath her enraged, tough-talking exterior, Mia begins the movie as an innocent. And that's why what happens to her is so devastating.
Posted by Marissa at 12:28 PM

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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:31 pm

http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/films/films.php?id=19610

Film Review
By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat


Fish Tank
Directed by Andrea Arnold
IFC Films 01/10 Feature Film
Not Rated

Mia (Katie Jarvis) is a feisty 15 year old who lives in a working-class complex in Essex, England, with her promiscuous mother Joanne (Kierston Wareing) and younger sister Tyler (Rebecca Griffith). She doesn't get along with her mother and their face time usually consists of yelling at each other. Mia is an angry and unhappy adolescent who desperately yearns to be free, yet she has few clues how to achieve that desired state of bliss. The closest she comes to it is when she repeatedly tries to rescue a horse tied up in a junkyard. It is there she meets and is befriended by Billy (Harry Treadaway) but she feels ill-equipped to start a romantic relationship with him.

Mia is very curious about sex and finds herself intrigued by Connor (Michael Fassbender), her mother's latest boyfriend. After moving in with them, he shows an interest in her that no one else equals. Mia doesn't know how to read what is going on between them and in the end, she learns how mysterious sexuality can be for both adults and teenagers. The best way she finds for dealing with her conflicts at home with her mother and foul-mouthed sister, as well as the complications of sex, is her love of improvised dance. Mia watches countless hip-hop videos and practices on her own in an abandoned apartment. She dreams that her creativity will carry her out of Essex and to better days.

Fish Tank is directed by Andrea Arnold who won the Prix du Jury at the 2006 Cannes Festival for her debut picture Red Road. Whereas that film dealt with a wide range of issues including privacy in an age of technology, sexual power, and urban loneliness, Fish Tank is more focused on the coming-of-age misadventures of a rebellious and confused teenage girl. She is not a very likeable character yet Arnold manages to stay with her on her journey to find a place for herself to thrive and to bloom.

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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Wed Jan 20, 2010 12:43 am

http://peneflix.blogspot.com/2010/01/fellow-movie-lovers_19.html

Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Fellow Movie Lovers

Soon to be released:

FISH TANK

Andrea Arnold (Oscar winning creator of Wasp, 2004) delivers a knock out punch with this rough, raw and brutally honest film, attracting and repulsing, simultaneously.

Mia (freshly discovered, Katie Jarvis) is fifteen, no longer in school, disenfranchised from, and hater of society; a pure misanthropic. Her only escape a pathetic imitation of break-dancing (one could not help but recall Jennifer Beals in Flashdance). We do not like her and she does not want us to. Living in the housing projects in Essex, England where privacy is anathema and one’s vulnerabilities showcased for all to witness, replicating a fish tank; with her alcoholic and abusive mother and her younger foul-mouthed sister; dysfunctional climbs to the nose bleed level.

Added to this menacing mix is the ragingly sensual Connor (adroitly played by Michael Fassbender, Inglorious Basterds) lover of Mia’s mother; but from the initial meeting the chemistry between Mia and Connor is palpable and if exploited, could result in explosive consequences. The success of the film rests in the gradual culmination of this relationship.

“Coming of age” films are a truism that has become trivialized, almost a cliché; usually referring to a teen’s sexual awakening or enlightenment. Someone comes of age in all films, regardless of the date on their birth certificate. From The Lost Weekend to An Education, bookends for Old Yeller, Biker Boyz, Lords of Flatbush, Y Tu Mama Tambien, Scent of a Woman, Midnight Cowboy, Cocoon; there are no time restrictions or boundaries as to the age you “come of age”, if ever.

Arnold softens this excruciating painful film with luscious views of the sky and the perfect formation of birds in flight, a metaphor for Mia’s entrapment and struggle for a space of her own.

Can Mia rise above her hubris, her histrionics? Only if you believe in Divine intervention!

THREE STARS!

For Now……………Peneflix
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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Wed Jan 20, 2010 2:42 am

http://www.explorernews.com/articles/2010/01/20/el_sol/doc4b565db9a614d890660844.txt

'Fish Tank'


Unrated, but contains scenes of sexuality, sex involving a minor and teen drinking and smoking. 122 minutes. Three and a half stars out of four.

Writer-director Andrea Arnold has created something so real and raw with this British teen drama, you may come away with a twinge of guilty voyeurism, a sense of peering too closely and impolitely into other people's lives.

Arnold made a remarkable find with her teen lead, Katie Jarvis, who had not acted before but proves a natural, at least for the sort of honest intensity needed to anchor the story. Jarvis plays Mia, a 15-year-old alienated from friends, her mom (Kierston Wareing) and everything else around her bleak home in a crumbling industrial town east of London.

Her mother's new boyfriend (Michael Fassbender) becomes both someone new to confront and an intriguing mix of father figure and dream suitor to Mia. Extreme things happen, yet it all feels genuine, even inevitable, thanks to the devoted, fearless cast and Arnold's attention to detail, which helps the film unfold like actual lives playing out on screen.

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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Wed Jan 20, 2010 10:18 pm

http://www.moviecitynews.com/columnists/pride/2010/100120.html

Fish Tank, The Lovely Bones, Daybreakers and The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus


Bleeding love - Fish Tank (****)

From its opening minutes of anger expressed by its teen protagonist, director Andrea Arnold's second feature, Fish Tank, is an electric slice of elevated everyday life. Luckily, Arnold amasses her own idiosyncratic observations, different sensations from other English filmmakers who trouble to traffic with class, more tender than Loach and Leigh, and also with a more kaleidoscopic eye than the Belgian brothers Dardenne, mingling the funny, the sorrowful, the sad, the melancholy and the intimate without a solitary note of false uplift. She's a poet, really.

The intent simmer of her cop-turned-sexual stalker of the dark, winding streets of Red Road is displaced by a 15-year-old's negotiation of council flats and encroaching womanhood. As Mia, newcomer Katie Jarvis, discovered on a subway platform, is a find: an uncultivated natural playing a council-estate teenager attracted to the handsome new boyfriend (Michael Fassbender) of her single mom (Kierston Wareing). Many gray areas will be colored in. The language is scouringly profane and the suburban landscape is the scorched earth of J. G. Ballard-land. Yet Arnold's characters are living in the moment, breathing each second.

Music offers fleeting freedom (and sweet commentary an audience can take home). Mia's energy comes out in dancing with herself to hip-hop in an abandoned space: she's as fierce in her private choreography as Arnold is unrepentantly unsentimental. Arnold makes many quiet creative choices that enrich her loving, lovely tapestry, but her preference for shooting in the almost square, old-fashioned 1.33 ratio and the snapshot esthetic of some of her lighting suggests memories built from a shoebox of poignant Polaroids. The world is not bleak: there is dance and there are dreams and even in the most dangerous moments, Arnold implies Mia will survive; thrive.

Arnold does extraordinary work with actors but she creates a lived-in, to-be-lived-through world for their characters to battle against. In the end, Fish Tank is kilometers away from social realism: it's a blooming nightmare that life's experience one day will shake this obstinate, gifted director's characters away from. [Arnold chose to shoot the film full frame, or 4:3, rather than any wider/narrower ratio.]

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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Wed Jan 20, 2010 10:20 pm

http://ones2watch4.com/movies/reviews/review-fish-tank/

Review – Fish Tank

January 20, 2010 by Tracey Brown

Fish Tank is a gripping slice of life, coming of age drama. It is also an antidote to the proper costume dramas many still associate with British cinema and that some might be sick of. The film is more akin to the “gritty realism” of the angry young man British movies of the late fifties and early sixties, except in this case we have an angry young girl – a very angry and confused 15-year old girl named Mia Taylor (KATIE JARVIS).

Not that Mia doesn’t have a lot to be pissed off about. She lives in a depressing “council estate” (read public housing for American audiences). She has a self-absorbed, non-existent mother (KIERSTON WAREING) who dresses like a striper and literally has zero interest in what her children do. (The only interest she takes in her eldest daughter is trying to get her sent to reform school.) She has no friends and literally has no one to talk to – not even a girlfriend she can commiserate with. On top of that, she is stuck in limbo, with no prospects or future.

Because of this, she is incapable of expressing any emotion other than anger and regularly lashes out at anyone she can, but mostly at her mother and younger sister (REBECCA GRIFFITHS). Mia has no outlet for her emotions except her love for hip-hop dancing – which is her only respite. The only creatures she seems to relate to are the family dog and a horse chained up in the neighborhood, which she tries to free as it seems a symbol of her own trapped self.

So when her mother’s new boyfriend, Connor (MICHAEL FASSBENDER), enters the picture and is just ordinarily nice to her. She at first also pushes him away, like she does with everyone, but then reluctantly finds herself interested in him. Connor is the only positive force in Mia’s life – he encourages to pursue her dancing and to go on an audition. But is Connor just being nice to his girlfriend’s kid, or does he have other motives? His presence also seems to give her to reach out and make a new friend in the neighborhood, Billy (HARRY TREADAWAY). Although it is not clear at first whether she is looking for company or trying to make Connor jealous.

A lot of emotionally draining things happen to Mia during the climax of Fish Tank, but to talk about them too much would spoil the few surprises this movie has, as this isn’t a movie about plot. It is the emotional journey of a young girl that draws you in little by little and makes you really care about Mia and cringe every time she does something stupid. But as the drama unfolds, Mia finally comes to term with her life and takes a bit more control and by the end of the film, there is hope that she might actually make it and go onto something a little bit better that what she has known.

Fish Tank is open now in NYC and opens Friday in Los Angeles.

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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Wed Jan 20, 2010 10:31 pm

http://ayushveda.com/blogs/entertainment/fish-tank-buzzing-with-life-and-emotions/

Fish tank – buzzing with life and emotions
Posted on Wednesday, 20th January, 2010 by pooja gill

Fish Tank is Andrea Arnold’s second film after Red Road and it touches all aspects of live such as sadness, anger, humor, love and hope. Andrea Arnold has successfully able to wrap all the emotions by telling a self written story. The story touches the real aspects of life along with having immediacy and intimacy with stylish poetry that offers a complete turmoil on quite a familiar territory.

Arnold has been quite sensitive in drawing a line between fulfillment and danger presenting sexual feelings. The story is about Mia (performed by Katie Jarvis), an adolescent teenage girl. The girl gets into a situation where she used the adjective ‘cunt’ for calling one of her friend’s dad and also head butt another girl so that blood starts to pour down the girl’s face. The movie starts in this way.

Mia is a resident of a flat in a place called Essex situated in Thames estuary where she lives along with her little sister named Tyler (played by Rebecca Griffith) and her mom named Joanne (played by Kierston Wareing). Mia is quite an abusive of girl and generally uses an abusive language. Mia often gets into trouble because of her volatile nature and because of this she has also been expelled from the school.

Mia is very passionate about urban dancing and she keeps her busy practicing it in her flat. One day Mia’s mother comes home along with a man named Connor. He has charming personality and appears like a father figure. His relationship with Mia takes a turn and develops into a flirtatious one and they end up being physical while Mia’s mother is asleep. The next morning this man ends up his relationship with Mia’s mother and leaves the house never to return back. However, Mia somehow tracks him and discovers him being married and a father of a young daughter.

While Connor returns home, in the mean while Mia had already kidnapped his daughter to take revenge. The movie ends optimistically, showing Mia flying off to Wales for a fresh start. The movie stars Katie Jarvis, Michael Fassbender, Kierston Wareing, Rebecca Griffiths, Harry Treadaway, Sydney Mary Nash and Sarah Bayes.

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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Wed Jan 20, 2010 10:40 pm

http://marissabidilla.blogspot.com/2010/01/cinemas-new-favorite-plot-twist.html

Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Cinema's New Favorite Plot Twist
SPOILERS ahead for the movie Fish Tank, as well as two other movies that I probably shouldn't even name in this paragraph, because just reading their titles might alert you to the spoiler/plot twist that I am alluding to, and then if you haven't seen Fish Tank, its plot will be ruined for you. Suffice it to say that the other two movies got some of the best reviews of 2009 and will probably both be nominated for Adapted Screenplay at the Oscars...

*****

Are you still with me, after that convoluted spoiler warning?

OK, here's what I want to talk about. In the last three months, I have seen three new movies that all employ the same plot twist: An Education, Up in the Air, and Fish Tank.

To spell it out: the twist is that the protagonist's lover turns out to be leading a double life--he or she is secretly married, and a parent. Furthermore, each of the movies reveals this twist at about the same time (approx. 3/4 of the way through) and includes a powerful scene where the protagonist visits his/her lover's home and meets his/her secret family.

An Education: 17-year-old Jenny is engaged to the much older David, when she discovers some incriminating letters that reveal that he is married. A heartbroken Jenny later visits his house (which is not too far from her own), trying to get a glimpse of his wife and child.

Up in the Air: Frequent-flyers Ryan and Alex have been hooking up whenever they manage to be in the same city. Ryan finally realizes that he loves Alex and pays a surprise visit to her brownstone in Chicago, only to see her children running around and hear her husband's voice.

Fish Tank: 15-year-old Mia has really ill-advised drunken sex with her mom's boyfriend Connor one night; the next morning, he has fled. Mia tracks Connor down at his house in the suburbs, discovers that he has a wife and daughter, and tries to get revenge.

Because of their similar plots and their teenage British heroines, some reviews of Fish Tank have called it the lower-class, social-realist version of An Education. But I'm surprised that nobody is talking about how An Education and Up in the Air share the same plot twist--even though they are both fairly prominent contenders for awards this season! And, though Up in the Air is a polished Hollywood dramedy and Fish Tank is a gritty British indie film, they reveal the plot twist in the same way. Both have a moment where the audience goes "oh no!" as we see Alex's or Connor's dwelling for the first time, and realize it's much bigger/nicer/more expensive than we expected. We know that single businesswomen don't tend to own big townhouses and single blue-collar guys don't tend to live on suburban cul-de-sacs... so this can only mean that these people aren't single!

I'd like to believe that when three movies that share the same plot twist come out within three months of each other, it says something about the culture at large--our collective fears or anxieties. So, does it mean anything special that 2009 brought three movies where the protagonist's lover is secretly married? Are we all suddenly worried that our loved ones are duplicitous?

I'm also trying to recall older movies that employ this same twist, but off the top of my head, I can't think of any.* If you've thought of some, please post them in the comments!

Maybe it's hard to think of similar movies, though, because there is something very "un-Hollywood" about this plot twist. For 100 years, mainstream cinema has beguiled us with stories of ideal romances between lovers who are just too good to be true. But the moral of the "my lover is secretly married" plot is that if someone seems too good to be true, they probably are. Jenny, Ryan, and Mia lose their illusions by the end of their respective movies. And that's more realistic, but also more downbeat, than the message that movies usually deliver.

*Well, there's a secretly married character in Casablanca: when I watched it last month with a friend who had never seen it, she gasped when Ilsa told Rick, "Victor is my husband, and was, even when I knew you in Paris"! Still, Ilsa's marriage is different; unlike David, Alex, or Connor, Ilsa does not come across as scheming and deceitful.
Posted by Marissa at 7:45 PM

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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Wed Jan 20, 2010 11:00 pm

http://www.slantmagazine.com/film/review/fish-tank/4630

Fish Tank ***

by Lauren Wissot on January 13, 2010

Film criticism is like solving a cinematic mystery—figuring out how and why something moved you or failed to. With Andrea Arnold's mesmerizing Fish Tank, the follow-up to her acclaimed debut, Red Road, the answer lies in what's smartly missing. The British director's filmmaking style is precise and concise, as tight and lean as her teenage heroine. Because this coming-of-age tale contains not one extraneous word or image, its strong visceral atmosphere is allowed to organically emerge.

Arnold immediately captures the over-the-top emotions of adolescence via a disturbing and hilarious opening sequence that moves like an unstable train ride through the projects of impoverished Essex. Fifteen-year-old Mia, played with a terrific awkward ease by newcomer Katie Jarvis, is a simmering rebel with no outlet, looking for a fight. Arnold's handheld cam trails the girl as she aims rocks at an estranged friend's apartment window before stomping away like a raging bull to challenge a posse of sexed-up, hip-hop dancing popular girls, the confrontation ending in Mia delivering a vicious head butt to a pretty nose.

The doors in the flat Mia shares with her partying mum and little sis Tyler (an adorably wise-beyond-her-years Rebecca Griffiths) aren't opened and closed, but forced-in and slammed. Arnold makes Mia's inner discordance visual. It's unnerving to try to reconcile a sweet heart in a snow globe in Mia's room and the strawberries on her pajama bottoms, with the dangerous hammer in her hand as she takes off to free a chained horse. Yet within minutes we know everything there is to know about this young heroine and the threat of violence both external and internal that makes up her working-class world.

The only time gangly Mia can relax is when she's listening to the rap music that speaks directly to her own ghetto reality, or when she's break-dancing alone. The scene in which we see her simultaneously get drunk and dance in an empty space to dull the pain is heartbreaking in its honesty. That Jarvis herself isn't a trained dancer—she doesn't even like dancing, according to the press notes—adds yet another layer of poignancy. Fish Tank is the anti-Flashdance, a story about a working-class girl whose dream, like in real life, will forever remain a dream.

As will the prospect of a romantic relationship with her mother's new boyfriend Connor, played by acting chameleon Michael Fassbender. Like Mia's bottle-blonde mum Joanne (Kierston Wareing, channeling a past-her-prime beauty queen), Connor is every bit as irresponsible and immature as Mia. While Mia and Tyler drink beer and smoke, surrounded by girly heart-shaped objects and kids drawings hanging on the wall, Joanne and Connor act on their every bodily whim, from booze to sex, with no control. The children grow up too fast as the adults regress, making for an often hilarious, dysfunctional family-sitcom-meets-horror-story when opposing needs collide.

Indeed, Mia and Tyler's perceptive dialogue usually matches the adults word for word. "There's like a million f#%@#&! bugs on this rock!" tiny Tyler exclaims on a rare outing. "Who's Kelly?" Mia asks, wondering about Connor's heart tattoo. "She's just an ex-girlfriend," the smooth operator replies, his lightning-fast nonchalance speaking volumes. Arnold's heart motif ironically underscores the fact that love is a foreign concept to these blue-collar folks struggling just to survive.

But not knowing healthy love can be very dangerous for an angry and confused girl on the verge of womanhood, especially one caught alone with an equally impulsive adult. There's a gorgeous scene, serving as Fish Tank's centerpiece, which is nearly perfect in showing how seduction can turn to coercion in the blink of an eye. Under beautiful yellow lighting and to sultry music, Mia dances, her body becoming sexual even as her brain remains that of a 15-year-old. It's a universal coming-of-age dilemma, but one rarely dealt with on screen. Through the subtlest of details, Arnold, like her fellow post-punk countryman director Shane Meadows, distills the spirit of adolescence even as she places it solidly within the frame.

Or traps it inside the character of a mother of two. Toward the end, when Mia and Tyler bust some moves with Joanne, Mia's face simultaneously registers love, defiance that she will not become her mum, and a pained sorrow for the choices Joanne has made. By the time Tyler grabs her big sis as she leaves for good, hugs her tight while sobbing, and then yells, "I hate you!," the line makes complete logical sense. Love and hate cannot help but be mixed up when sealed away in a childproof tank.

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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Wed Jan 20, 2010 11:04 pm

http://www.womensmedianation.com/items/view/31893/fish-tank

Movie Review: Fish Tank

posted by Women & Hollywood
Friday, January 15, 2010 at 10:25pm EST

What I love about Andrea Arnold is that she is not afraid to show the grit and grime in everyday life. In her Cannes Jury Prize winning film Fish Tank (opening today in limited release), Arnold tells the story of Mia, a 15-year-old girl fighting to find her place in the world. She lives in the “fish tank” which is the low-income high rise of Essex with her mom and younger sister. They are a family in crisis. Mom is struggling just to get by, has a bad history of boyfriends, and Mia spend lots of time on her own getting into trouble. So much trouble that she has been kicked out of school and needs to go off to some kind of reformatory. Her dream is to dance her way to a new life. She finds vacant apartments, plugs in her music and dances for hours creating routines. When mom brings home a new boyfriend (Michael Fassbender) who shows affection for Mia and her family, Mia misinterprets that affection in her desperation to be loved.

The film is raw and exciting to watch. You see the uninhibited energy of newcomer Katie Jarvis as she struggles to find her place in the world without any adult guidance. It’s a sad portrait of a girl who is way too alone, but finds sanity in her dancing. From the film notes I learned that Arnold did not give the script to the actors before filming began. She didn’t want them to over prepare. If you haven’t seen her first film, Red Road, you should. She is a great talent, telling hard stories about women. Fish Tank should be seen by anyone interested in seeing a very talented woman director at work.

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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Wed Jan 20, 2010 11:08 pm

http://www.rollingstone.com/reviews/movie/27810097/review/31791541/fish_tank

Fish Tank

Starring: Katie Jarvis

Directed by: Andrea Arnold

RS: 3.5of 4 Stars Average User Rating:4of 4 Stars

You don't expect to find movie gold in the January cesspool. That's what makes Fish Tank an exhilarating gift. Katie Jarvis, 18, hits you like a shot in the heart with her sensational breakout performance. And cheers to director Andrea Arnold, who flies on her own unerring instincts. On the surface, the film is pat melodrama, as 15-year-old Mia (Jarvis) acts out hostilities about being raised in the London projects by a single mom (Kierston Wareing) too driven by her own libido to worry about Mia and her sister (Rebecca Griffiths).

Peter Travers reviews Fish Tank in his weekly video podcast, "At the Movies With Peter Travers."

That's when pat turns to pow. Get up in Mia's face, and she'll clock you. Hip-hop dancing is Mia's only goal until her mom's new stud, Connor (Michael Fassbender), develops an unhealthy interest. The electrifying Fassbender, so good in Hunger and Inglourious Basterds, nails every nuance in a complex role. His scenes with Jarvis have a hypnotic sexual energy. And while you're remembering new high-impact names, add Arnold. In only her second film, after 2006's Red Road, she keeps the screen filled to bursting with the beauty and raw terror of life.

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