Fish Tank

Fish Tank (UK/Netherlands, 2009, 123 minutes)
Released to wide critical acclaim in 2009, Fish Tank is director Andrea Arnold’s second feature film and second Cannes Jury Prize winner (and in 2005, Arnold won an Oscar for her live-action short Wasp). According to British film critic Amy Raphael, “Arnold makes extraordinary films about ordinary people” and that claim can certainly be made about Fish Tank.  Focusing on 15-year-old Mia, who lives in a housing project in Essex, the titular fish tank, the film depicts the harsh realities of the girl’s existence under the supervision of a thoughtless mother and her new boyfriend.   Only two things provide Mia with any escape: rap music and street dancing.  Despite its harsh subject matter, Fish Tank avoids feeling bleak, often breaking out into impressively poetic images.  Using an unwavering observational style and extensive handheld camerawork, Arnold distills something beautiful from the urban wasteland that is the backdrop for Mia’s coming-of-age experience.  Even though she’s relatively new to directing feature films, Arnold has already developed a reputation for drawing stellar performances from her actors, and viewers will be startled by the outstanding work of newcomer Katie Jarvis and Michael Fassbender, most well-known for his work in IngloriousBasterds and Hunger.  While there is much more to motivate a viewing of Fish Tank, the performers alone are enough to recommend this fine film by one of the leaders of Britain’s new generation of filmmakers.  Synopsis Author: April Miller

Back to Film Schedule
Movie Website