White Bird in a Blizzard

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White Bird in a Blizzard
WBIB poster.jpg
Film poster
Directed by Gregg Araki
Produced by
  • Gregg Araki
  • Pascal Caucheteux
  • Sebastien Lemercier
Screenplay by Gregg Araki
Based on White Bird in a Blizzard
by Laura Kasischke
Starring
Music by
Cinematography Sandra Valde-Hansen
Edited by Gregg Araki
Production
company
  • Why Not Productions
  • Desperate Pictures
  • Wild Bunch
  • Orange Studio
Distributed by
Release date
  • January 20, 2014 (2014-01-20) (Sundance)
  • October 24, 2014 (2014-10-24)
Running time
91 minutes[1]
Country France
United States
Language English
Box office $378,300[2][3]

White Bird in a Blizzard is a 2014 French/American art drama thriller film co-produced, written, and directed by Gregg Araki. The film is based on the novel of the same name by Laura Kasischke and stars Shailene Woodley, Eva Green, and Christopher Meloni. The film premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival on January 20, 2014 before being given a limited theatrical release on October 24, 2014.[4]

Plot[edit]

In 1988, when Katrina "Kat" Connors (Shailene Woodley) was 17, her mother, Eve (Eva Green), disappeared without a trace. The story weaves back-and-forth with flashbacks of Eve's past life and the present day.

In the flashbacks, Eve was a wild girl who gradually changed into a domesticated housewife after marrying Brock (Christopher Meloni), an ordinary man who leads an uneventful life. While Kat explores her blossoming sexuality with her handsome but dim-witted neighbor and schoolmate, Phil (Shiloh Fernandez), Eve struggles to deal with aging and quenching her youthful wildness. She tries to be sexy when Brock is away, even luring Phil's attention. After Eve disappears, Kat deals with her abandonment without much issue, occasionally releasing her own wild side, seducing the detective (Thomas Jane) investigating her mother's disappearance. The film then jumps forward three years to the spring of 1991. On a break from college, Kat returns home and seems unfazed to learn that her father is in a relationship with a co-worker.

The detective Kat has been having an affair with informs her that Brock might have killed Eve after catching her cheating. Kat dismisses this theory, just like she did three years ago, but after mentioning the topic to her friends Beth (Gabourey Sidibe) and Mickey (Mark Indelicato) they tell her they suggested this same theory to her and she dismissed them as well. Kat suspects Phil of sleeping with Eve and confronts him the night before she is to return to college, but Phil angrily rebuffs it and tells her that her father knows where her mother is.

Kat begins to unpack Brock's suspiciously locked freezer in their basement, but is stopped when he walks in on her. She questions him about her mother's disappearance, asking if he does in fact know where she is, but he denies having any knowledge of her whereabouts. Believing her father, Kat bids her him goodbye and tearfully boards her flight, returning to college. It is revealed that this was the last time Kat sees her father, as he went out to a bar shortly thereafter and drunkenly admitted to murdering Eve. He is soon arrested and later hangs himself with a sheet in his jail cell, also revealing that he moved Eve's body from the freezer the night before Kat unpacked it.

The film ends with a flashback of Eve's death; she came home from shopping the afternoon of her disappearance to find Brock and Phil in bed together. Phil dashed out of the room and Eve began laughing hysterically at Brock, incredulous, and he responded by wrapping his fingers around her throat, asking her repeatedly to stop, to which she kept on laughing, and he strangled her to death.

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

Shailene Woodley and Shiloh Fernandez in Paris at the film's French premiere.

Box office[edit]

The film opened in the United States in a limited release on October 24, 2014 in 4 theaters and grossed $6,302 with an average of $1,576 per theater and ranking #80 at the box office. After 7 weeks in theaters the film earned $33,821 domestically and $344,479 internationally for a total of $378,300.[2][3]

Critical response[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, the film has a score of 57% based on 82 reviews, with an average rating of 5.6 out of 10. The critical consensus states: "Part suburban thriller, part sexual awakening drama – and fully convincing as neither – White Bird in a Blizzard rests a little too heavily on Shailene Woodley's typically superlative work."[5] The film also has a score of 51 out of 100 on Metacritic based on 27 critics indicating "mixed or average reviews".[6]

Pop Insomniacs said, "We've seen versions of this story several times, but never quite mangled together like this before, which is precisely why I was so captivated, uncomfortable and surprised by this movie".[7] Kansas City Star reporter Jocelyn Noveck said, "It all comes down to a doozy of a plot twist, and it's enjoyably shocking. But at the end you're still left shaking your head, feeling lost, wishing there was something tangible to hold on to — perhaps a bit like being trapped in a snow globe... Two stars out of four".[8]

Stereogum ranked the film's 80s pop- and shoegaze-heavy soundtrack as the 16th best soundtrack of 2014.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "WHITE BIRD IN A BLIZZARD (15)". British Board of Film Classification. November 28, 2014. Retrieved November 28, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "White Bird in a Blizzard (2014) - Box Office Mojo". Retrieved November 29, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "White Bird in a Blizzard (2014) - International Box Office Results - Box Office Mojo". Retrieved November 29, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Sundance Institute Announces Films In Premieres And Documentary Premieres For 2014 Sundance Film Festival". Sundance Film Festival. 9 December 2013. Retrieved 26 September 2014. 
  5. ^ "White Bird in a Blizzard". October 24, 2014. Retrieved November 29, 2014. 
  6. ^ "White Bird in a Blizzard Reviews - Metacritic". Retrieved November 29, 2014. 
  7. ^ "'White Bird in a Blizzard' and Shailene Woodley Subvert Expectations". Pop Insomniacs. 22 September 2014. Retrieved 26 September 2014. 
  8. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20141023044340/http://www.kansascity.com/entertainment/article3290643.html. Archived from the original on October 23, 2014. Retrieved October 23, 2014.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. ^ "The 20 Best Soundtrack Moments Of 2014". Stereogum. 2014-12-31. Retrieved 2016-11-17. 

External links[edit]