Fish Tank

Fish Tank

4.5 4
Director: Andrea Arnold

Cast: Andrea Arnold, Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Griffiths, Katie Jarvis

     
 

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A mother and daughter find themselves locked in an ugly battle over the same man in this drama from writer and director Andrea Arnold. Mia Williams (Katie Jarvis) is 15 years old and lives in a shabby apartment block with her mother, Joanne (Kierston Wareing), and younger

Overview

A mother and daughter find themselves locked in an ugly battle over the same man in this drama from writer and director Andrea Arnold. Mia Williams (Katie Jarvis) is 15 years old and lives in a shabby apartment block with her mother, Joanne (Kierston Wareing), and younger sister, Tyler (Rebecca Griffiths). Mia is a reckless and rebellious teenager who frequently argues with her mother and sister and has run afoul of the authorities at school, leading to her being suspended. With plenty of time on her hands, Mia spends her days drinking when she can find alcohol and partying in a empty flat near her apartment. Joanne is a single mother, and she's begun dating a new man, Connor (Michael Fassbender); when Joanne brings him home to meet the girls, Mia is immediately attracted to him, and it's soon clear Connor feels the same way about her. Mia attempts to seduce Connor to take him away from her mother, and when she succeeds, Joanne's greatest anger is not with the man who has slept with her underaged daughter, but the girl who is now a rival for the affections of her lover. Fish Tank was an official selection at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
If Fish Tank had been made ten years earlier, it would have been directed by Lynne Ramsay and starred Samantha Morton. That's a sizable compliment to both writer-director Andrea Arnold and star Katie Jarvis, though Arnold may not need the additional boost -- her first feature, Red Road, had already won the jury prize at Cannes, and she made it two for two when Fish Tank walked away with the same award. Acting newcomer Jarvis, on the other hand, is an unexpected revelation. She brings the soulful eyes and spitfire attitude of a young Morton, in a more wiry frame, to the central role of Mia, a rebellious teenage girl who's sort of looking for a father figure and sort of looking for a lover in a housing project in lower-class Essex. Mia finds that candidate in her mother's boyfriend, played by the breakout star Michael Fassbender. Amid Mia's chaotic world of physical scrapes and yelling matches, Arnold documents that budding relationship with a tenderness that makes you hope it's the paternal bond she needs, but secretly fear it's the carnal bond she wants. The film's unwavering commitment to truth leaves the former outcome unlikely and the latter a near certainty. Where the relationship goes contains shocking surprises that take your breath away. Jarvis is simply astonishing, etching one of the more unforgettable portraits of chip-on-the-shoulder toughness mixed with teenage vulnerability, and Fassbender has a smoldering chemistry with her that's independent of sexual attraction, born of two talented performers connecting amid a sea of narrative bleakness. Arnold pulls off a difficult feat here, presenting the audience with one disappointing sample of human weakness after another without actually making us feel glum. Perhaps it's just that filmmaking as good as Fish Tank should leave a spring in the step of any serious film fan.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/22/2011
UPC:
0715515065016
Original Release:
2009
Rating:
NR
Source:
Criterion
Region Code:
A
Sound:
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound]
Time:
2:02:00
Sales rank:
3,192

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Michael Fassbender Connor
Rebecca Griffiths Tyler
Katie Jarvis Mia
Sydney Mary Nash Keira
Harry Treadaway Billy
Kierston Wareing Joanne

Technical Credits
Andrea Arnold Director,Screenwriter
Nicolas Chaudeurge Editor
Liz Gallacher Musical Direction/Supervision
Kees Kasander Producer
Marese Langan Makeup
Christine Langan Executive Producer
Nick Laws Producer
Rashad Omar Sound/Sound Designer
Jane Petrie Costumes/Costume Designer
Robbie Ryan Cinematographer
Helen Scott Production Designer
David M. Thompson Executive Producer
Jill Trevellick Casting
Paul Trijbits Executive Producer

Scene Index

Director-approved digital transfer, with dts-hd master audio soundtrack; Three short films by director Andrea Arnold:; Milke (1998), Dog (2001), and the Oscar-winning Wasp (2003); New video interview with actor Kierston Wareing; Audio conversation with actor Michael Fassbender from 2009; Audition footage; Stills gallery by set photographer Holly Horner; Original theatrical trailer; Plus: a booklet featuring an essay by film scholar Ian Christie

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Fish Tank 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Life as a 15-year-old girl can get pretty sour especially when you live in the projects with a wayward mother and bratty little sister. Mia is a fatherless girl with no direction being raised by an equally lost and confused single parent. Their council flat (British term for housing projects) in Essex is in a bleak dreary corner of the world where no future is obvious. Mia has pervasive loneliness that is endemic in a life of a school drop out with no friends and prone to fights with other teenagers. With no job, no friends, no stability it is no wonder that Mia is seeking a way out. She thinks dancing might be it but without any encouragement she is left to her own devices to make that dream come true. The same old same old routine of Mia's existence continues compounded with underage drinking and more fights. One morning she is dancing in the kitchen of her flat preparing for an audition as a dancer at a local club. While Mia does her best hip hop move to the TV she is interrupted by a stranger in the kitchen. Her mother has brought home a new boyfriend, Connor, who responds by not mocking her. One gets the sense that this may be the first time that anyone has not ridiculed Mia for who she is and what she does. Things start to brew between Mia and Connor when he moves into the flat. For the first time in her life an anxious and tense girl with with a need for protection and safety only a father can provide is lured into an assault situation. The council flat is prime breeding ground for manipulation, coercion, and what psychologists call "love bombing". Show a person starved for love an unending stream of affection and you are their puppet master. Fish Tank is not the first film to depict the uneasy and often creepy love triangle that can form when a parent brings home a new partner. Yet the film does not go to a formula or stereotype of either a secret assault against someone's will or duplicity committed on the part of a teenager or young adult. Rather, Fish Tank remains an unspoken story about what happens when a fatherless love starved girl enters puberty and seeks a paternal bond. Mia is already dealing with an out-of-control neglectful parent so the instant Connor displays patience, encouragement, and most of all . care . Mia is sucked in to a vortex of mixed affection and crossed boundaries. Connor initially related to Mia as a kid he likes but a 15 year old girl is developing into a woman and being a man in his late 20's/early 30's the fact is not lost on Connor. The family outing at the lake starts the tumble down the road of forbidden attraction. Connor encourages Mia out of her shell and when she hurts her foot he tends to her immediately while her mother could care less. Then he carries her on his back because she can't walk. These acts of kindness are all the things that a father does except Connor is not Mia's father because if she were a few years older she could be his lover instead of her mother. One can see how the transition to a bond between them is dangerous because of Mia's love starved existence that makes her especially susceptible to falling under the spell of anyone who would show her attention. There is both a mixture of impending danger and sweetness when Connor carries Mia to her room after she falls asleep on the couch one night.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago