FISH TANK (2009)

dir. Andrea Arnold. Mia (Katie Jarvis) is a fifteen year old girl, living with her neglectful mother, and her eight year old sister Tyler in a council estate in East London. Angry and friendless, Mia escapes through alcohol and hip hop dancing. Her difficult life is made more challenging when her mother takes on a new live-in boyfriend, Conor (Michael Fassbender). Heartbreaking and beautiful. Like some other great social realism films, the distressing subject matter is transformed into riveting viewing through the outstanding naturalistic performances, and unpredictable storytelling. It’s unbelievable that this was Katie Jarvis’s first film, she’s confident and superb. There are moments of genuine humour and hope, that lift you above the films more upsetting moments. Incredible. The film also looks wonderful, with perfectly framed images in a TV style 4:3 aspect ratio.