"Fish Tank"

Adolescence is at the heart of Andrea Arnold's Mesmerizing Fish Tank (4/5) - a British film that justly won the Jury Prize at Cannes this year and has been flooded with praise in the British Press since its release there in September. A release date is planned in early 2010 for the U.S and Canada and I suggest that despite its frankly original & curiously vague nature, you seek it out. At the heart of the movie is a central performance of incredible magnitude by newcomer Katie Jarvis, who plays Mia, a troubled & isolated teen in the slums of British property that everything and anything she touches turns into trouble. Mia lives with her already improper little sister and her sexually open mother. Their relationship is sparse and troubled in ways that I would call this family dysfunctional with a capital D. Trouble keeps coming when mom brings in a guy that Mia ends up having the hots for and -in turn- oh never mind, watch the movie.

The reason why such a simple movie is getting all its high praise -deservedly btw- is due to director Arnold springing surprises that keep you on interested for the movies whole 100 minutes, there are no missteps and every scene in perfectly fit in as to advance the characters and storyline. I was reminded of early Truffault with Antoine Doinel replaced by a female version of his and the mother as repulsive and real as that very movie. High props go to the entire cast for a movie that -as simple as it is- brought it in ways no other mainstream movie can. This is an original work of art, simple yet very refreshing. Fish Tank has been nominated for 8 British film awards- among the other nominess for Best Picture include Dunccan Jones' great Moon, Lone Scherfig's An Education & Armando Lanucci's satiric In The Loop.