FISH TANK

Whereas Fincher’s The Social Network deals in the oft-tread world of the Angry Young Man tradition, writer-director Andrea Arnold’s Fish Tank, her sophomore effort (following Oscar-winning short Wasp and debut feature Red Road) might well be the first real Angry Young Woman’s tale. First-timer Katie Jarvis gives a mesmerizing performance as Mia, a very troubled youth living in an intensely suffocating suburban slum in Essex with her alcoholic partying cougar mother (Kierston Wareing) and her much younger, foul-mouthed and similarly troubled sister (Rebecca Griffiths) – Precious has nothing on this trio. After a party, Mia’s mom brings home a young, attractive Irish guy called Connor (Michael Fassbender of Inglourious Basterds and Hunger fame) who becomes the one force encouraging Mia’s best way out of this existence – dance. What could go wrong you ask? Arnold’s intensely focused 1.33:1 frame follows this deeply troubled teen as she finds out in what is perhaps the most strikingly effective British film in this mold since Mike Leigh’s Naked (1993).

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