"Woodley offers her most provocative performance to date in this painful coming of age tale"
Eva Green is dazzlingly maniacal as a seductively, disturbed mother in this mysterious tale of parental absence. Gregg Araki’s (Kaboom, Mysterious Skin) twelfth feature re-examines his reiterative directorial tropes surrounding angst ridden teens and the frenzied melodrama that subsequently transpires.
Set in the fall of 1988, 17-year-old Kat Connor (Shailene Woodley) is entrenched in an all-consuming ecstasy-laced whirlwind that is her recent sexual awakening. Lusty encounters aside, Kat’s increasingly volatile relationship with unhinged mother Eve (Green) leaves the Stepford wife-esque ‘mom’ radiating forlorn looks of contempt which are permanently etched across her hauntingly pale face.
After the abrupt disappearance of her mother, Kat is left seemingly disaffected as she is the by-product of a dysfunctionally repressed household. With pastel green missing posters plastered across the circumferencing area, Eve’s departure is of no great shock to the local police department who seem indifferent in taking on the latest missing person’s case.
This dream-like adaptation of Laura Kasischke’s familial thriller is an apathy study of Middle-America suburbia, where denial lies at the heart of every character. Woodley offers her most provocative performance to date in this painful coming of age tale, whilst cautiously circumnavigating her way around inadvertently laughable dialogue such as, "And just like that, my virginity disappeared. Just like my mother."
Woodley is the vivacious, grounding anchor who delivers genuine authenticity that deflects from the harsh overbearance of Green’s domineering characterture. Whilst White Bird in a Blizzard won’t set the box office alight, it is an intriguing indie mix of hazy young love, experimental youth and the soul crushing emptiness of mid-town life.