Critical darling Andrea Arnold, who was awarded the Jury Prize at Cannes for directing this film, manages to create a quietly magical world within a barren environment, allowing us access to the warmer side of an outwardly angry individual. But while Mia’s unpredictability makes her an interesting character to follow, she isn’t exactly the most enchanting protagonist, and there are moments in the film where her actions are a little farfetched. The plot seems somewhat rushed, too – Mia’s repeated attempts to set free a horse from a local trailer park are already old news by the middle of the film, and the shocking developments of the final act appear to have little consequence. It’s a film that commands your attention from start to finish, but is too flawed to deserve all the attention.
Tuesday, 10 November 2009
In this modern twist on kitchen-sink realism, grumpy teenager Mia struggles with life on an Essex council estate with her uncaring mother Joanna and cheeky younger sister Tyler. Her only release from the miserable cycle of petty arguments and cautions from the police is amateur urban dance, a hobby which she practises in an abandoned flat round the corner. When her mother brings home a well-bred, friendly man called Connor, Mia immediately smells a rat and becomes wary of his overwhelming attempts to play father figure to her and her sister. As Connor passionately encourages Mia in her dancing, she quickly changes her tune and the two begin an uneasy affair, something which immediately has devastating repercussions.