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Film Review: “White Bird in a Blizzard” (2014)


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A mother-and-daughter, or a father-and-daughter relationship, is one of the more common subjects in films, especially when that relationship is darkened by an unfortunate event – with the disappearance of one of them.  With White Bird in a Blizzard, this is a mother, who for an unknown reason one day disappears into the darkness without a trace. Kate (Shailene Woodley) is 17 years old when she finds out that her, maybe not so beloved, but still a mother, disappears. She and her father, Brock Connor (Christopher Meloni), know nothing about Eva’s (Eva Green) whereabouts, and neither does the police. But a strange thing happens that causes Kat to remember her Mom; a dream where her Mom comes to her, asking for help from a white blizzard. Despite this Kat ignores all the dreams. But, one day, she will follow them, because this is the only way to find the truth behind mother`s disappearance.

White Bird in a Blizzard begins with the narrating voice of Woodley, who starts by sharing her story with us, which begins when she is 17 years old. As soon as we get to know her character in the story via a flashback, we as the audience fall into her tale, and feel sympathy for her. However when we get to know Kat (Woodley) better, we understand that she is not fond of her mother, and her disappearance did not make a big difference for Kat. So, the question is, if Kat does not love her mother very much, why does she keep seeing her in her dreams? This question is not that easy to answer, especially in such a twisted film as White Bird in a Blizzard. The film also introduces her father, who seems like a very sympathetic and lovable person, who would do anything to bring his dearest wife home. However, we don’t see him working on it much or helping the police to find her.

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Woodley’s Kat is portrayed as a very determined, charismatic young lady, who can`t wait to leave the little town where she lives, for the big city, to have unlimited adventures. Greene`s character, Eve, is a desperate housewife, who sits home all day, cleans house, cooks for her husband and kids, and is totally unsatisfied with her life. The director does an enormous job of creating a dark atmosphere in the film, which holds the viewer’s interest till the end. Even though we can easily predict the ending, it still manages to leave us partially speechless, as the outcome is one of those that actually is hard to predict.

Woodley’s character grows quickly from being a little girl to a mature lady with goals and desires that make her look unintentionally like her mother. It is truly fascinating to watch Woodley’s performance as she quickly grows, before our eyes, from the teenage girl from Divergent; a cancer sick patient from The Fault in Our Stars into independent, feminine and purposeful young lady in White Bird in a Blizzard. Her performance does not leave us disappointed; Woodley does her best to advance to the next level – and that level is the one, that one day, will bring her worldwide recognition, not as a young and ambitious girl with big plans for the future, but rather a very talented and respected actress whose films we will all enjoy seeing over and over again.

White Bird In a Blizzard is a pretty straight-forward film, without any destructive scenes or dialogues. It is sometimes suspenseful, with family drama that has impressive performances delivered by Greene and Woodley. But, the real delight of the film is certainly the story, and the outcome of which will certainly make us think in the end.

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About Ulkar Alakbarova (1002 Articles)
My name is Ulkar Alakbarova. A wonderful name, is it not? I come from the exotic land of Azerbaijan but now I live in the hub of Hollywood North – Toronto, Canada. How lucky I am to be able to enjoy and indulge in my favourite avocation of watching movies. Movies of every genre are screened here in Toronto. There are black and white classics, avant garde, independently produced, and of course, newly released movies for all to enjoy. Let me share this treasure of entertainment with you. Read my thoughts and opinions then let me know if you agree.

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