Monday, April 6, 2020     Volume: 21, Issue: 5
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Santa Maria Sun / Film

This weeks review
1917
AD ASTRA
BINGABLE: ABANDONED (2016)
BINGABLE: DON’T F**K WITH CATS: HUNTING AN INTERNET KILLER (2019)
BINGEABLE: Barry
BINGEABLE: CASA DE LAS FLORES
BINGEABLE: FLEABAG
BINGEABLE: GRACE AND FRANKIE
BINGEABLE: NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DOCUMENTARIES
BINGEABLE: OUTLANDER (2014-present)
BINGEABLE: PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (1995)
BINGEABLE: RUSSIAN DOLL
BINGEABLE: STRANGER THINGS 3
BINGEABLE: THE PEOPLE V. O.J. SIMPSON: AMERICAN CRIME STORY
BINGEABLE: THE SINNER (SEASON 2)
BIRDS OF PREY (AND THE FANTABULOUS EMANCIPATION OF ONE HARLEY QUINN)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: COOL RUNNINGS (1993)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: FISH TANK (2009)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: HOUSE
BLAST FROM THE PAST: OLDBOY
BLAST FROM THE PAST: RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK
BLAST FROM THE PAST: ROBOCOP
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE MATRIX
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE PRESTIGE (2006)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: WILD AT HEART
BLAST FROM THE PAST: YOU’VE GOT MAIL
BLOODSHOT
DOCTOR SLEEP
EMMA
FORD V FERRARI
GUILTY PLEASURE: THE HANGOVER
GUILTY PLEASURES: CHEER (2020)
GUILTY PLEASURES: GIRL MEETS WORLD (2014-2017)
HATEWATCH: 92ND ACADEMY AWARDS (2020)
HATEWATCH: NAILED IT!
HATEWATCH: THE WITCHER (2019)
HEARST CASTLE: BUILDING THE DREAM
I STILL BELIEVE
JOJO RABBIT
JOKER
KNIVES OUT
LITTLE WOMEN
MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN
ONCE UPON A TIME … IN HOLLYWOOD
ONWARD
THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN
THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM
THE CALL OF THE WILD
THE GENTLEMEN
THE HUNT
THE INVISIBLE MAN
THE LIGHTHOUSE
THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON
THE WAY BACK
TV REVIEW:
TV REVIEW: LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE
TV REVIEW: SELF MADE: INSPIRED BY THE LIFE OF MADAM C.J. WALKER
TV REVIEW: TABOO
TV REVIEW: WESTWORLD (Season 3 debut)
UNCUT GEMS
UNDERRATED: BATMAN BEGINS
UNDERRATED: DOUBLE DRAGON (1994)
UNDERRATED: INSOMNIA
UNDERRATED: SHUTTER ISLAND
UNDERRATED: THE BATTERED BASTARDS OF BASEBALL
UNDERRATED: THE FALLING
YESTERDAY
ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP

BLAST FROM THE PAST: FISH TANK (2009)

PHOTO BY , COURTESY OF BBC FILMS

BLAST FROM THE PAST: FISH TANK (2009)


Where is it playing?: Amazon Prime, YouTube

What's it rated?: Not rated

User Rating: 0.00 (0 Votes)

In the 92 years the Academy Awards have existed, only five women have ever been nominated for Best Director. Only one woman, Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker), has ever actually won the award, according to a recent story published by CNBC.

This issue became glaringly obvious to me a few weeks ago when I was thinking about some of my favorite directors—Yorgos Lanthimos (The Killing of a Sacred Deer, The Lobster), David Lynch (Twin Peaks, Mulholland Drive), Lars Von Trier (Melancholia)—and I realized they’re all men. As a woman who generally tries to stay away from men (just kidding, I love you idiots), I was offended by my own choices.

So I immediately Googled “movies directed by women,” found an IndieWire list of 100 of the “all-time greatest films” directed by women, and dedicated myself to watching all (or at least most) of them.

Fish Tank, directed and written by Andrea Arnold (Red Road, American Honey), was my first pick, and it follows Mia (Katie Jarvis), a hot-tempered 15-year-old living in Essex with her alcoholic mom and little sister.

Things aren’t going well with Mia when we meet her. Her dad isn’t around, her mom is barely present (and whenever she is, they’re fighting), and Mia is in a nasty argument with her only friends. Fortunately, despite her family’s lack of money, Mia is always able to find the time and space necessary for her favorite escape: breakdancing.

A self-taught white girl in London, Mia isn’t exactly a gifted breakdancer, but she develops an inkling of much-needed self-esteem when her mother’s new boyfriend, Connor (Michael Fassbender), accidentally walks in on her while she’s dancing alone and tells her she’s talented.

From then on, Connor is around a lot, and when he is, her family is almost normal. He plays with Mia’s little sister, takes them on a fishing trip, and encourages Mia to pursue a career in dance.

Mia, who so clearly has never experienced the nurturing and love a child needs, begins to mistake Connor’s kindness for flirtation and develops romantic feelings for him. But it quickly becomes obvious that Connor isn’t as sweet as he’s been made out to be, and Mia finds out about a life of Connor’s that he’s never shared with her family.

Arnold’s direction fools you into believing Connor might be one of the good ones, unveils him as the disgusting monster he really is, and then forces you almost onto his side once again at the end. On the flip side, the audience always knows what atrocities Mia is capable of.

Despite her impossible attitude and, in some cases, criminal decision-making, she’s one of those ultra-complex characters you end up loving unconditionally, maybe because no one else in the movie does.

In Fish Tank, all lines are blurred: good and bad, comedy and tragedy, mother and child, villain and hero, sexual and platonic relationships. That’s what makes it so real, so raw, and such a joy to watch. (124 min.) 

—Kasey Bubnash








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