Director: Gregg Araki
Stars: Shailene Woodley, Eva Green, Christopher Meloni
Release Date: October 24, 2014
Our teen years are the happiest days of our lives, right? The parties, the thrills, the excitement, the adventures, the world is truly in our hands. We might believe that but in all actuality, our teen years can come with some pretty awful memories as well. But we refuse to remember those, I mean, who chooses to remember the bad memories over the good? That is exactly the case for Shailene Wodley's Kat Connor in her latest film White Bird in a Blizzard, whose mother goes missing quite randomly in the middle of January. Director Gregg Araki who specializes in subjecting young people is back at it again with his latest film. Unfortunately, the complete lack of mystery and suspense is the downfall of the film.
Kat Connors (Shailene Woodley) is 17 years old when her perfect homemaker mother, Eve (Eva Green), a beautiful, enigmatic, and haunted woman, disappears - just as Kat is discovering and relishing her newfound sexuality. Having lived for so long in a stifled, emotionally repressed household, she barely registers her mother's absence and certainly doesn't blame her doormat of a father, Brock (Christopher Meloni), for the loss. In fact, it's almost a relief. But as time passes, Kat begins to come to grips with how deeply Eve's disappearance has affected her. Returning home on a break from college, she finds herself confronted with the truth about her mother's departure, and her own denial about the events surrounding it...
White Bird in a Blizzard can easily be apart of a double feature with the other film being Gone Girl. Heck, if you have the spare time add Horns to it as well and you'll have yourself a nice triple feature. But the first two films have more in common than the latter as they both deal with the true story behind a "perfect" marriage and reveals this story through the mystery of a missing spouse. White Bird in a Blizzard on the other hand goes deeper than what director David Fincher and author Gillian Flynn had a chance to by looking through the viewpoint of an offspring. In this case, a hormonal teenage girl. This small difference plays a huge role in the film.
The difference between the two films is White Bird in a Blizzard does not care much about the mystery in the novel. After the first 15 minutes into the film you already know who did it. The why is more of a twist but you are never surprised or filled with suspense throughout the film. This is probably because Araki has always been one to subject young individuals and more specifically how they handle their identity and relationships. If you are a fan of the source material, Laura Kasischke's novel, than you will be upset that Araki never addresses the LGBT identity that is addressed in the novel.
This can easily be considered Woodley's Havoc as she drops the teenage girl image that she built through The Secret Life of the American Teenager with a couple of nude scenes throughout the film. She picked the right film to show Hollywood and her fans that she is ready for more mature roles as she completely nails the different emotions her character goes through. Despite her strong want for sex, she never comes out as a slut and rarely over dramatized other emotions as well. Christopher Meloni brings a strong performance as Kat's father but Eva Green just feels out of her element as Kat's mother. A pet peeve of mine has always been casting a big name actor for such a tiny role and that is the case for Thomas Jane's Detective Scieziesciez.
White Bird in a Blizzard is currently available on VOD with it set to have a limited release on October 24th.
Labels: 2014, Christopher Meloni, Eva Green, Gregg Araki, Movie Review, On Demand, Shailene Woodley