Kat Connors is 17 years old when her seemingly perfect homemaker mother, Eve, disappears in 1988. Having lived for so long in an emotionally repressed household, she barely registers her mother's absence and certainly doesn't blame her doormat of a father, Brock, for the loss. But as time passes, Kat begins to come to grips with how deeply Eve's disappearance has affected her. Returning home on a break from college, she finds herself confronted with the truth about her mother's departure, and her own denial about the events surrounding it...Written by
Very, very pleasant surprise of 2014. "White Bird in A Blizzard" is one of the 2014 films I mostly respect and really admire from a filmaking point of view. Of course, and you will have realized by looking at the grade, it isn't a flat out success since it bears some problems, but it really makes many, many points and has a unique perspective on them. I am really surprised to see this film pass so under the radar and be so under-appreciated.
So many thoughts are going on in my mind (I have just finished the film) and it's really hard to pin them down, but that's what I love about it. Even through the flaws of the film you can see the enthusiasm, the pathos, the passion and the interest the filmmakers, especially the director, have for the property. That's what makes even the weak elements have redeeming qualities. I love to see storytelling done this way, people who have the balls to stick to their vision no matter how it could be received and do it their own way. That's what misses from many mediocre movies that end up in that category exactly because they don't have strength and courage at the helm. This movie is very emotionally involving, it touches quite dark ideas, but never shows off for it, moreover without ever looking as it is trying to hard and without ever going graphic or over the top it got under my skin with a lot of it's content. This movie is bleak, it is a very uncomfortable look at the madness that lives in every human being and it is strangely uncomfortable to watch at times, it shows truths that you would like to ignore, but can't help be fascinated and terrified by at the same time. I know everything I am saying sounds really murky, but I think that if you've seen the film you get what I am saying. I really respect so much this movie for its bravery, and as I said, it doesn't always lead to a successful point, but if you are gonna fail I would rather see you fail ambitiously a thousand times than look at something that succeeds without any backbone.
And, curiously enough, this is the second film this year that does this in which my personal hero, the single person I most aspire to, Shailene Woodley, stars. I have gone off raving about her so much I don't really see what's the point in doing so any more, I think I have run out of words for her. She is absolutely the best actor/actress living and this movie is further proof that her work is more than a performance, it is a lesson, it is something to behold, but at the same time it never, ever, not even for a frame looks like she it acting. Shailene, just as I said in my "Fault in our Stars" review, you are the reason why I go to the cinema. Thank you for your work.
After all these amazing words it seems strange for me to give this movie a 7.5. Well the point is that all of the above is there, but there is also a first act that is preposterously weird, some characters are very gimmicky or over the top and even though they still serve their purpose, you can't look at the screen at times for how out of context they feel. Also, the film unfortunately never has under its control where it is going and whilst on one side that turns out to make for some surprises, it feels more as if it doesn't know what it is doing at times. It has an ending that partially feels genuine and engaging but because of that it comes out as underdeveloped. Lastly, it is never fully absorbing or as devastating as it should be and that was a big con for me, I really wanted it to be more emotionally touching than it ended up being.
So overall I really recommend anyone to watch this film, especially movie fans and aspiring filmmakers, you will have something to sink your teeth in. Very, very good surprise and great reflection inducing film, don't miss it and praise again to Shailene Woodley for her talent!
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