Festival de Cannes 70: Andrea Arnold, 2009

A sunny shout-out to 70 winners at the Cannes Film Festival to celebrate the 70th event which is just around the corner – in no particular order.

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English filmmaker Andrea Arnold has taken three films to Cannes, Red Road, Fish Tank, and American Honey, and all three were the recipient of the Prix du Jury – making her the biggest bridesmaid in recent festival history. Though to win three consecutive prizes is a mean fete indeed. In my view, it is Fish Tank that is the finest of her works, and there’s nothing wrong with sitting just behind Das weiße Band and Un prophète in the prize pecking order in 2009. The breakthrough performance from Katie Jarvis in Fish Tank offers such a gritty, realistic social landscape. So inhabited in the role of a troubled teenage girl with such tenacity, she chews up every scene. Hard-hitting, fuck-the-world teenagers generally have a sour reputation in our lives as menaces to society, and although Mia may fall into that misunderstood pocket, Jarvis and Arnold turn the perception inside out. Mia rejects the outside world to a large extent, almost lamenting the very social group she is part of, all the while dancing privately, demonstrating an emotive sense of longing.

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