Wednesday, 3 December 2014

White Bird in a Blizzard (5/5, Very Good)

The new film from independent filmmaker Gregg Araki is a sensitive and dreamy tale of dark events happening in the life of a teenage girl. Once more, he proves why his name is well regarded in the independent cinema network. 

This is the end of the 1980s. It is the story of Kat (Shailene Woodley) who is leading a monotone life in a typical American suburb. She has a sexy boyfriend (Shiloh Fernandez), good friends and parents that take care of her. One day, her mother (Eva Green) simply vanishes. Police leads an investigation and there are no tracks of her. Kat tries to keep on with her life but many questions arise regarding her mother. Why isn't she there anymore? 
The script , adapted from a novel of the same name by Laura Kasischke, tells a classic dramatic story. However the originality resides in the ability of writer/director Gregg Araki to tell a dark story with a dreamy tone. It almost feels we are perpetually in a dream. Dreams can be beautiful but can also turn to be a nightmare. Araki pays special attention  to show us the world of Kat without the (classic) thriller tone but with love and sensitivity. He wants us to be there with her and understand her profound conflicts.One of the highlights as well is the ending: we weren't expecting that.

Both Shailene Woodley and Eva Green are very convincing. This latter is able, at her limited appearances on the screen, to create a character with deeply rooted conflicts and a complexity that is not very common to see in cinema. We think this is one of the best roles Eva Green have ever had. The cinematography, recognizable with high colors predominating in Araki's movies, is poetic and takes you far away from your seat. Also the soundtrack is composed with great care. 

This is the 'softest' film from Gregg Araki though. We think it is not a bad thing. People can start to see his films with this one and then enter to his world, which is one of the greatest in contemporary cinema. 


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