White Bird in a Blizzard
Distributed By: Magnolia Pictures
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
I love reviewing soundtracks for G-POP.net - I get introduced to so many different movies that I may never have heard of had I not received the soundtrack. Thus was the case with White Bird in a Blizzard. After listening to the soundtrack and researching the film, I decided this one might be worth checking out. Finding myself with time on my hands, I figured today was the day.
Based on the novel by Laura Kasischke, White Bird in a Blizzard stars Shailene Woodley as Kat Connors a teenager whose life is turned on its head when her mother disappears in 1988. Described as the perfect housewife, it's hard to believe that Eve (Eva Green) just walked out on her perfect life with her husband (Chris Meloni) and daughter. But as time goes on, we learn that things weren't so perfect in the Connors home.
Kat tries to turn to her boyfriend (Shiloh Fernandez) for support, but finds him to be rather distant of late. Her father sends Kat to a therapist (Angela Bassett) which actually does help Kat to realize some suppressed issues regarding her mother and events leading up to her disappearance. For other needs, Kat turns to her friends (Gabourey Sidibe and Mark Indelicato) and a new lover, the detective (Thomas Jane) in charge of her mother's missing persons case. As times goes by, the disappearance of her mother appears to affect Kat less and she begins to move on with her life.
Flash forward to 1991 and Kat's return home during a break from college. Coming home is strange. There is a new woman in her father's life, but how can Kat blame the man for wanting to be with someone so long after her mother's disappearance. Kat's ex-boyfriend is seriously ducking her, making her suspicious, especially when her police detective lover lets her in on some of the details surrounding her mother's case. As Kat struggles with these new revelations, she begins to realize that her mother may not have decided to leave them after all. But does she really want to know the truth behind her disappearance?
After watching the promos for this film, I pretty much had the whole thing figured out. Nonetheless, it was fun to watch the mystery unfold through Kat's eyes. There's a lot of psychological drama going on here, especially regarding the memories Kat has seemed to suppress about her home life that get revealed little by little as the movie progresses. We begin to see that Kat's mother was struggling with her identity as a housewife, wanting more from her life, angry with the world for what she lost and jealous of her daughter for her innocence and infinite future possibilities.
The revelation of what happened to Eve in the end was a bit surprising, though. I had thought things might have ended differently, but I was pleased with how things turned out. There is some terrific acting in this film by Shailene Woodley and Chris Meloni, but you really don't see much of it until the end of the film. Most of the movie is stolen by the amazing talent of Eva Green and her upward and downward swings as Eve Connor.
Watching White Bird in a Blizzard was definitely time well-spent as it provided an interesting mystery wrapped in a coming of age film. A psychological thriller mixed up in a film about finding one's own identity in the world. It's a little artsy, especially during the dream sequences, but I like artsy and those who don't can forgive those moments as they are few and far between. All-in-all, I found the film to be very entertaining.