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
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This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #553. See more »
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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Performed by Rhythm & Sound with Paul St. Hilaire
Written by Mark Ernestus / Moritz Von Oswald / Paul St. Hilaire
Published by Universal Music Publishing MGB Ltd
Licensed courtesy of Basic Channel GmbH 2009 See more »
Bitingly realistic, discomforting and hauntingly beautiful
Fish Tank hits you deep and hard, in the soul. It drew me in to its world without me hardly noticing it - a world of ultra-realism, burnished, you must say, by some quite incredible performances from Katie Jarvis and the rest of the cast.
One night of disturbed sleep after watching it and I am still in their world, out on the bleak and beautiful flatlands bordering Essex and London which so many people speed through every day as they journey between London and mainland Europe on the Eurostar trains. I myself have taken that journey a few times and wondered what the people's lives were like who lived in this strange landscape where London has parked so much of the stuff that it doesn't want to see - the giant container terminals, the power plants and the chemical works.
Fish Tank perhaps gives a taste of those lives, but it does much more than that. Especially it gives us a heroine who we can't help caring for deeply, despite and partly because she is on the outside so nasty, rude and violent. Through some of the things she gets up to as she wonders around we see a natural love of life bursting to get out though. We also have an attractive and kind man come into the picture who, through his natural goodness, offers an outlet for her yearnings for understanding, fun, and intimacy.
The story starts off slowly as we get to know 15-year old Mia, her family and the wider (and very limited) world around her. But it picks up and becomes tautly gripping at times - and it never slips into sentimentality or offers false redemption. It is all the better for that.
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