CATEGORIES Reviews
The latest from writer-director Andrea Arnold (an Oscar-winner for her 2004 short 'Wasp') is 'Fish Tank,' a gritty look at the seamy underbelly of lower class England.

The film stars young newcomer Katie Jarvis as Mia, an unruly, tempestuous teenager living in the outskirts of London with her bratty younger sister (Rebecca Griffiths) and her boozy, floozy mother (Kierston Wareing). A surly 15-year-old, Mia's only outlet for her pent up aggressions is hip-hop dancing in an abandoned apartment. That is, until her mother's dashing new boyfriend (Michael Fassbender of 'Inglourious Basterds') shows up and takes an interest in her as well.

The movie, which won the Jury Prize at last year's Cannes Film Festival, has been racking up acclaim for its gritty realism as well as its mesmerizing star. Check out the reviews below, and then let us know what you think. The latest from writer-director Andrea Arnold (an Oscar-winner for her 2004 short 'Wasp') is 'Fish Tank,' a gritty look at the seamy underbelly of lower class England.

The film stars young newcomer Katie Jarvis as Mia, an unruly, tempestuous teenager living in the outskirts of London with her bratty younger sister (Rebecca Griffiths) and her boozy, floozy mother (Kierston Wareing). A surly 15-year-old, Mia's only outlet for her pent up aggressions is hip-hop dancing in an abandoned apartment. That is, until her mother's dashing new boyfriend (Michael Fassbender of 'Inglourious Basterds') shows up and takes an interest in her as well.

The movie, which won the Jury Prize at last year's Cannes Film Festival, has been racking up acclaim for its gritty realism as well as its mesmerizing star. Check out the reviews below, and then let us know what you think.

New York Magazine: "In 'Fish Tank,' nothing goes right, yet Mia's fate never seems preordained. Her constant motion might or might not be her salvation, but it keeps you in suspense until the last frame -- and beyond."

Entertainment Weekly: "Mia (Katie Jarvis) is a cauldron of teen-girl sullenness and yearning in the vivid British drama 'Fish Tank' -- we can't take our eyes off her, even if her anger is familiar to audiences of the subgenre of cinematic realism classified as British miserablism. ... Such a tight, hand-held, close-up study of an inarticulate young woman trapped by the luck of life's bad draw -- might skitter toward have-not cliché. But writer-director Andrea Arnold ('Red Road'), an astute chronicler of lower-class turf, mostly steers clear of the expected, especially with the remarkable Jarvis in the lead ..."

'Fish tank' Trailer


Associated Press: "Arnold made a remarkable find with her teen lead, Katie Jarvis, who had not acted before but proves a natural, at least for the sort of honest intensity the filmmaker needed to anchor the story. ... Jarvis' Mia is a ferocious, hankering spirit, desperate for positive connections with people, compassionate and empathetic despite her prickly exterior. She makes some bad choices and learns that adults often are no better than teenagers at doing the right thing. Mia just learns it in a more drastic way than most youths do."

Time Out London: "Andrea Arnold's follow-up to 'Red Road' is a film that brilliantly and sensitively buzzes with life and offers its very own take on our world and our city. It delivers in spades attitude, humour, sadness, love, anger and hope -- all wrapped up in a way of telling stories that is very much the director's own. It's realism, but it has an intimacy, an immediacy and a dash of poetry that offers a new spin on familiar territory."

Village Voice: "
Whether Jarvis is a natural-born actress or is simply playing herself as Mia, a foul-mouthed, 15-year-old child of the Essex projects with a gift for raising the roof wherever she goes, she gives a ferociously persuasive performance in an otherwise routine tale of domestic disaster."

The New York Observer: "
Michael Fassbender ... is in top form in 'Fish Tank.' But the real star is Katie Jarvis, a newcomer with no previous experience who plays a teenage social misfit in a bleak housing project looking for love in all the wrong places. It's a debut both raw and astonishing."