08th Mar2015

White Bird in a Blizzard – Film

by timbaros

Shailene Woodley stars as a young girl whose mother suddenly disappears in the new film White Bird in a Blizzard.

Woodley plays Cat Corvis, a 17-year old high school student on the cusp of adulthood and womanhood. It’s 1988, and one day she comes home from school to find her father Brock (Christopher Meloni) sitting on the couch, upset, and he tells Kat that he can’t find her mom Eve (Eva Green). Kat’s quite unemotional about this as her mom had recently been acting very strange, recently barging into her bedroom and asking questions about her sex life. Eve’s had also been acting very cold to Brock. But director Greg Araki doesn’t just tell a straight forward narrative, he bounces forward to 1999 and then back to 1988 throughout the film to advance the story yet not giving anything away.

So what’s happened to Kat’s mother? Detective Scieziesciez (Thomas Jane) is investigating the case, but Kat doesn’t really care about her mother’s disappearance – all she cares about is trying to bed the detective. She’s also sleeping with the boy next door Phil (Shiloh Fernandez), a grungy type who lives with his blind mother.

Jumping back again to 1988 in the days leading up to Eve’s disappearance, we see her become a stranger in her own home, cold and ambivalent to Cat and Brock. So what’s happened to her? Did she runaway? Kat and her mates can only speculate but when other people know more than what they’re saying, Kat’s suspicions point towards someone whom she least expected.

Araki, who also wrote the script, is very good at keeping the suspense up throughout the film until’s it’s final shocking end. And boy is it shocking. This is a real mainstream movie for Araki as he typically directs films that are made for primarily a gay audience (Kaboom, Mysterious Skin). Plus he’s got the right cast for this film. Woodley, of The Fault in our Stars and Divergent films, is a screen natural and is able to carry the film. She’s a natural on screen. Meloni, known for his television work (including the prison drama Oz where he starred with recent Oscar winner J.K. Simmons) is very good as the shattered, confused husband. A cameo by Angela Bassett as Kat’s therapist helps us to understand Kat’s feelings and emotions. All in all, this movie is recommended for all the points mentioned above as well as the clever script.