White Bird in a Blizzard – Araki’s unique stlye reaches an apex
Written by: Laura Kasischke (Novel) and Gregg Araki (Screenplay)
Directed by: Gregg Araki
Starring: Shailene Woodley, Eva Green, Shiloh Fernandez, Thomas Jane, Christopher Meloni, and Angella Bassett
Anyone familiar with Gregg Araki’s work knows that ,going into one of his films, one ought to expect something unique. Teenage sexual identity, brutally violent attitudes, and a superb soundtrack are all regulars in Araki films. “White Bird” is no exception.
The story (based on the novel) follows an incredibly dysfunctional family, the Conners. 17 year old Kat (Shailene Woodley) has blossomed into a young woman, much to the agony of her depressed alcoholic mother Eve (Eva Green). Like the evil queen obsessing over Snow White, Eve jealously leers at her beautiful daughter and wishes to be at that point in her own life instead of the boring, suburban house wife she has watched herself become.
Then, one day, Eve is gone. She has presumably left out of an inability to cope with the tedium of her life. Leaving her daughter and husband in the emotional dust. While Kat reacts by acting on her new found sexual powers, Brock (Meloni) simply becomes a shell of himself that was a shell of someone to begin with.
There are so many good things to say about this movie that it is hard to know where to start. All of the performances are great, but it is Green and Woodley who really make the film what it is. Eva Green commands the screen in every scene she is in (that was kind of a rhyme!). Her performance has an incredible depth and sadness to it, and her talent shines through in every frame in which she is present.
Woodley, while shedding her teeny bopper image, gives a jaw dropping performance that is sure to cement her as a legitimate star. She shows great restraint in the evolution of her character while also portraying the teenage angst that Araki is so fond of. I didn’t know much about Ms. Woodley before, but you can bet I will be watching for what she does next.
The supporting cast are all excellent as well. The soundtrack is great. The vibe is dreamy and at times disturbing. Everything you could want from an Araki movie. “White Bird” is probably his most accessible film to date, and one of the best of 2014. Go see it!