7.3/10
57,250
121 user 249 critic

Fish Tank (2009)

Not Rated | | Drama | 11 September 2009 (UK)
Trailer
2:04 | Trailer
Everything changes for 15-year-old Mia when her mum brings home a new boyfriend.

Director:

Andrea Arnold

Writer:

Andrea Arnold
21 wins & 29 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Katie Jarvis ... Mia
Michael Fassbender ... Conor
Rebecca Griffiths Rebecca Griffiths ... Tyler
Carrie-Ann Savill Carrie-Ann Savill ... Tyler's Friend
Toyin Ogidi Toyin Ogidi ... Tyler's Friend
Grant Wild Grant Wild ... Keeley's Dad
Sarah Bayes Sarah Bayes ... Keeley
Charlotte Collins Charlotte Collins ... Tall Dancing Girl
Kirsty Smith Kirsty Smith ... Dancing Girl
Chelsea Chase Chelsea Chase ... Dancing Girl
Brooke Hobby Brooke Hobby ... Dancing Girl
Harry Treadaway ... Billy
Syrus Syrus ... Tennents the Dog
Kierston Wareing ... Joanne
Alan Francis Alan Francis ... Free Runner
Learn more

More Like This 

Red Road (2006)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Jackie works as a CCTV operator. Each day she watches over a small part of the world, protecting the people living their lives under her gaze. One day a man appears on her monitor, a man she thought she would never see again, a man she never wanted to see again. Now she has no choice, she is compelled to confront him.

Director: Andrea Arnold
Stars: Kate Dickie, Tony Curran, Martin Compston
Wasp (2003)
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Zoë is a single mother who lives with her four children in Dartford. She is poor and can't afford to buy food. One day her ex-boyfriend drives by and asks her to go on a date with him. ... See full summary »

Director: Andrea Arnold
Stars: Natalie Press, Danny Dyer, Jodie Mitchell
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A teenage girl with nothing to lose joins a traveling magazine sales crew, and gets caught up in a whirlwind of hard partying, law bending and young love as she criss-crosses the Midwest with a band of misfits.

Director: Andrea Arnold
Stars: Sasha Lane, Shia LaBeouf, Riley Keough
Hunger (2008)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Irish republican Bobby Sands leads the inmates of a Northern Irish prison in a hunger strike.

Director: Steve McQueen
Stars: Stuart Graham, Laine Megaw, Brian Milligan
Shame (2011)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A sex addict's carefully cultivated private life falls apart after his sister arrives for an indefinite stay.

Director: Steve McQueen
Stars: Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan, James Badge Dale
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A poor boy of unknown origins is rescued from poverty and taken in by the Earnshaw family where he develops an intense relationship with his young foster sister, Cathy.

Director: Andrea Arnold
Stars: Kaya Scodelario, James Howson, Solomon Glave
Dog I (2001)
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A teenage girl gets ready to go out to meet her boyfriend, despite her mother's loud verbal disapproval of her clothes. She goes out to a deserted area with him and he begins to touch her ... See full summary »

Director: Andrea Arnold
Stars: Joanne Hill, Freddie Cunliffe, Veronica Valentine
Milk (1998)
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

From the get-go, Arnold was fascinated by the careless, seemingly simple choices people make in their day-to-day lives that lead to unintended, complicated consequences.

Director: Andrea Arnold
Stars: Lynda Steadman, Stephen McGann, Lee Oakes
An Education (2009)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A coming-of-age story about a teenage girl in 1960s suburban London, and how her life changes with the arrival of a playboy nearly twice her age.

Director: Lone Scherfig
Stars: Carey Mulligan, Peter Sarsgaard, Alfred Molina
Frank II (2014)
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Jon, a young wanna-be musician, discovers he's bitten off more than he can chew when he joins an eccentric pop band led by the mysterious and enigmatic Frank.

Director: Lenny Abrahamson
Stars: Michael Fassbender, Domhnall Gleeson, Maggie Gyllenhaal
Frances Ha (2012)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A New York woman (who doesn't really have an apartment) apprentices for a dance company (though she's not really a dancer) and throws herself headlong into her dreams, even as the possibility of realizing them dwindles.

Director: Noah Baumbach
Stars: Greta Gerwig, Mickey Sumner, Adam Driver
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Two thirteen year-old working-class friends in Bradford seek fortune by getting involved with a local scrap dealer and criminal.

Director: Clio Barnard
Stars: Conner Chapman, Shaun Thomas, Sean Gilder
Edit

Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Live, love and give as good as you get.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Goofs

When Mia takes the alcohol bottle from the woman at one of the parties, it is almost empty. Later, Mia is seen drinking from the bottle in her mother's bedroom and the bottle is half full. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[Mia calls Keeley using a cellphone]
Keeley: [from an answering machine] Hey, it's Keeley. Leave me a message.
Mia: 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.
See more »


Soundtracks

Juice (Know the Ledge)
Performed by Eric B. & Rakim
Written by Eric B. (as Eric Barrier) and Rakim (as William D. Griffin)
Published by EMI Publishing Ltd
Courtesy of MCA Records, Inc.
Under license from Universal Music Operations Ltd
See more »

User Reviews

 
An exhilarating dance of liberation
28 March 2010 | by howard.schumannSee all my reviews

The poet Rumi said, "A rose's rarest essence lives in the thorn." The thorn is in full evidence in Andrea Arnold's compellingly honest second feature Fish Tank, the story of a fifteen year-old girl's struggle for self respect after having "grown up absurd" in the London projects. Fish Tank, a film that is overflowing with life, works on many levels – as a look into squalid economic and social conditions in small town Britain, as a warning to those who act impulsively and without self-control, and as a coming-of-age story that allows us to experience a genuine sense of character growth. Winner of the Jury Prize at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, the film features an astounding performance from first-time actress Katie Jarvis, a 17-year-old who was discovered by the director while having an argument with her boyfriend on an Essex train station platform.

Set in a bleak housing project in a working class London suburb, fifteen-year-old Mia is an angry, isolated but vulnerable teen who lives with her boozy mom (Koerston Wareing) and little sister Tyler (an adorable Rebecca Griffiths). Mia has no friends and is dogged by a mean-spirited mother who makes Mo'Nique in Precious look like Mother Teresa. Filled with barely controlled rage, Mia seems uncertain as to whether she is looking for a fight or for sex. She goes from head-butting a rival on the playground to struggling to free a half-starved horse tied up in a junkyard while cozying up to the horse's owner Billy (Harry Treadway), a gentle 19-year-old who seems genuinely interested.

Dreaming of becoming a dancer, Mia breaks into an abandoned apartment and practices her hip-hop dance routines alone to borrowed CDs of pop music including California Dreaming, the only time when she can feel good about herself. Mia's first taste of something resembling kindness happens when her mother brings home a sexy, shirtless Irish lover named Connor (Michael Fassbender) who works as a security guard Fassbender's performance oscillates between the charming and the shady and we do not know who is real and who is pretend and where it will lead. Mia has more than a passing interest in him, revealed by her deep glances and facial expressions.

When Connor lends Mia his camera to film her dancing in preparation for an audition, she uses it to spy on Connor and her mom making love. One of the loveliest scenes is when Connor carries a drunken Mia from the living room and puts her to bed, gently taking off her clothes while Mia, pretending to be asleep, sneaks an occasional peak and is obviously enjoying the moment. Although Connor's interest in Mia appears innocent, from the time Mia cuts her foot on a family fishing trip and Connor gives her a piggy back ride to the car, tension gradually builds until it explodes in a seduction that is not only inappropriate but has serious consequences.

Fish Tank is a strong and unpredictable film because Mia is a strong (though flawed) character who refuses to allow her miserable circumstances to control her life. Arnold uses the fierce slang of the streets, overt sexual encounters, and gritty hand-held camera-work to tell an authentic story of adolescence that in lesser hands might have recycled genre clichés, provided a falsely uplifting message, or offered a sentimentalized view of poverty. That the film opens the door long enough to provide a breath of fresh air once again tells us that life can be governed by what is possible rather than what is reasonable and Fish Tank, instead of becoming another sordid study of pathology, becomes an exhilarating dance of liberation.


77 of 95 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 121 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official site [France]

Country:

Netherlands | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 September 2009 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Fish Tank See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$25,854, 17 January 2010

Gross USA:

$374,675

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,404,300
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed