'White Bird in a Blizzard'
(Shailene Woodley, Eva Green, Christopher Meloni, Shiloh Fernandez, Gabourey Sidibe, et al / DVD / R / 2015 / Magnolia Home Entertainment)
Overview: Kat Connors (Shailene Woodley) is a young woman embracing her newfound sexuality when her glamorous but strange mother Eve (Eva Green) vanishes. At first Kat is excited by her new freedom, distracted by the boy next door (Shiloh Fernandez) and the cop working the case (Thomas Jane). But as disturbing facts about the disappearance surface, the mystery begins to haunt her.
DVD Verdict: 'White Bird in a Blizzard' is set in the 1988, and tells the story of Kat Conner, played by Shailene Woodley, a 17 year old girl who seems to live a normal life until her perfect, homemaker mother, Eve, played by Eva Green, disappears one day. Having lived in a dysfunctional relationship with her mother, she feels little pain or sadness towards her mother's absence. She doesn't even blame her father, Brock, played by Chris Meloni, as he is too much of a wimp to have anything to do with her disappearance. As a few years go by, and Kat goes to College, she begins to realize just how much her mother's disappearance really impacted her, as she finds herself investigating and discovering the truth about what really happened.
'White Bird in a Blizzard' is based on a novel by Laura Kasischke and adapted by director Gregg Araki. Simply put, it is a somewhat bizarre, silly, sex romp, featuring a great lead performance by Shailene Woodley. This film fits director Gregg Araki's usual teenage sex and violence overtones, and features some pretentious and overbearing dialogue that almost comes off as an unintentional comedy. There are also some interesting things in this film, directing-wise: an unusual opening with a shot of Eve, the mother, on her back and a recurring dream sequence throughout involves Kat seeing her mother naked in the snow (hence the title). This is actually supposed to be a symbol for the film and a clue to the audience about the truth of the mystery. Additionally, the film's use of flashbacks is both bizarre and fascinating at the same time, making the relationship between mother and daughter all the more dysfunctional and creepy.
In the lead role, Shailene Woodley demonstrates her talents portraying a teenager who really doesn't know who to trust. The flashback where her mother comes into the room and tries to psychically assault her features some very fine acting by Woodley. In comparison, Eva Green appears more "over the top' and gives a notably "hammy" performance, portraying a clearly disturbed woman. In one of the scenes, for example, when she tries to act younger than her age and then breakdowns, it is mildly disturbing and gloriously cheesy all at the same time. The other actors in the film are good, especially Chris Meloni as the father who has a secret to hide, and Angela Bassett as a psychiatrist. In truth, and overall, I thought this was interesting film, but I don't know what to really make of it. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Commentary with Director Gregg Araki and Actress Shailene Woodley
Deleted and Extended Scenes
Interview with Director Gregg Araki
Interview with Actress Shailene Woodley
AXS TV: A Look at White Bird In A Blizzard