“Fish Tank” Displays British Teen Angst
Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades
Don’t know about your teenage years, but mine were just fine. Yet I’m drawn to coming-of-age films – from the puerile “Porky’s” to nostalgic “The Last Picture Show” to the current “Me and Orson Welles” – stories that tap into the emotions that bubble just beneath the surface of all youngsters.
Sex, love, rejection, growing up. We all had to deal with them, one way or another.
The latest such entry in the teen angst sweepstakes is “Fish Tank,” a British look at a 15-year-old girl’s struggle to find a place in her unsteady world. It’s playing at the Tropic Cinema.
Newcomer Katie Jarvis stars as the teenager in question, an aimless girl from a broken home, little interesting in her life other than trying to help mistreated animals (a horse) to street dancing (which leads to a dance competition).
Her mom’s an alcoholic, her mom’s hottie boyfriend pays a little too much attention to her tight clothes, her younger sister hates her.
“Fish Tank” won the Jury prize at Cannes and picked up the 2010 BAFTA Best British Film Award. British director Andrea Arnold (“Red Road”) helmed the production, a slice of life drama filmed on location in Essex, a northeastern suburb of London.
Katie Jarvis was discovered by one of the director’s casting assistants when she was spotted arguing with her boyfriend at a train station. A school dropout, she was unemployed and wresting with her own angst.
“Mainly it’s just real life around me that inspires me,” says Arnold. “I see someone on the bus, and I want to write about them.” Or at a train station.
[from Solares Hill]