Mia, an aggressive fifteen-year-old girl, lives on an Essex estate with her tarty mother, Joanne, and precocious little sister Tyler. She has been thrown out of school and is awaiting admission to a referrals unit and spends her days aimlessly. She begins an uneasy friendship with Joanne's slick boyfriend, Connor, who encourages her one interest, dancing. Written by
don @ minifie-1
As Mia is leaving the dance audition, she passes a mirrored wall and the cameraman and his equipment is clearly reflected. See more »
[Mia calls Keeley using a cellphone]
[from an answering machine]
Hey, it's Keeley. Leave me a message.
Keeley, it's me. What's going on? I've left like three messages. I said sorry, didn't I? You know what I'm like. I was pissed off. Ring me back, you bitch.
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As an American who used to be a fan of British "kitchen sink" drama I can say this film not only eclipsed those films, it eclipsed that whole genre, which was about poverty-stricken males who vented their rage against whoever crossed their path, usually females. "Fish Tank" turns all that inside out. This is "grrrrrl" kitchen sink.
Katie Jarvis cannot get enough kudos for her performance as a teenager called Mia. She's angry at the world. She fits in nowhere. Her mother is an advanced-age party animal who resents Mia for reminding her she's a mom.
Mia's poor. In the U.S., she would live in the projects. Here, it's called council flats.
The plot is fairly simple ... at first. Mia falls in love with her mother's studly boyfriend. He knows she lusts after him. She knows ... The movie is not really about the outcome of these lustful/familial issues as it is about how Mia will overcome/survive them. The movie goes in unpredictable directions.
One wonderful observation about this film is the economy of scenes. Every scene counts. An American version would have included at least one music video. Here, no BS. Every scene counts.
And the movie is about survival. Kids can survive bad backgrounds. We root for Mia all the way to the end.
Mike Leigh and Ken Loach, say hi to Andrea Arnold.
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