Friday, October 3, 2014

White Bird in a Blizzard Review

Shailene Woodley is fantastically talented, and she delivers another nuanced, top notch performance in White Bird in a Blizzard.

That's it. That's all I got. I spent a good five full minutes baffled at the end of this film trying to determine whether I really, really hated it, or just kinda hated it, and my mental search for positives came up with one thing: the lead performance. Everything else was pretty much horseshit.

Okay, so it has some decent cinematography during the occasional dream sequence, but who gives a flying turd when it pops up in the midst of a lifeless, seemingly pointless narrative that relies on uninteresting voice-overs and absurdly cartoonish performances? What is this film about? According to Peter Debruge from Variety, it is  "a complex take on how teens must break away from their parents to become their own person". What? Where the fuck did he pull this from?

During the first 90 percent of the running time, White Bird in a Blizzard is bland and rather boring. It is less than 90 minutes long and yet it felt like I could have watched the first two Lord of the Rings films during the same time span. Even so, I didn't quite hate the film until the very end. In a matter of moments it went from below-average forgettable to memorably terrible when the totally awful rushed ending is thrown in our faces, again delivered entirely via voice-over, because there is nothing better than 87 minutes of building up to something and then 94 seconds of quickly explaining everything to us. Oh, and the supposed to be shocking twist ending? The icing on the poop filled cake.

You deserve better than this Shailene. We all deserve better than this. Director Gregg Araki may show some potential behind the camera, but please lord, next time either adapt stronger material or hire someone else to wield the pen. A series of who gives a shit moments and characters and weird, trippy dreams all adds up to a total failure of a film.


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