Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

POVERTY TURNS TO POETRY; Andrea Arnold's Tale of a Troubled Essex Girl Is as Frustrating as It Is Electrifyingly Bold

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

POVERTY TURNS TO POETRY; Andrea Arnold's Tale of a Troubled Essex Girl Is as Frustrating as It Is Electrifyingly Bold

Article excerpt

Byline: Charlotte O'sullivan

Fish Tank Cert 15, 124 mins HHHHI

A working-clAss heroine is something to be and 15-year-old Mia (katie Jarvis) certainly dominates the landscape in Andrea Arnold's awardwinning drama. An Essex-girl version of a tomboy, she hurls abuse at her peers, evades social workers and drinks like a fish. As her mother keeps pointing out, she's still a virgin. Mia's not easy, in any sense of the word.

Fish Tank's catalyst is connor (the disturbingly charismatic Michael Fassbender), a northern irish, natureloving charmer who sweeps Mia's mum off her feet and looks fondly on Mia, too. He's quite a drinker, but when he's around, Mia is cocooned in a soft, womb-like bubble. Even the music he likes -- Bobby womack's version of california Dreamin' -- effortlessly cuts out the urban white noise.

The scenes between connor and Mia are superb. connor is an imperfect exotic, a parochial thinker who nevertheless opens up her world. "You dance like a black," he tells her, then pauses. "That's a compliment." she is, as it happens, a very average mover, but when she dances for him -- in a way that's sexy without being sexualised -- her bravery and vulnerability make you want to cry.

she thinks he knows what he's doing, but it's clear to us that connor is all at sea. At moments like these, Fish Tank feels electrifyingly bold. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.