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Fish Tank 15 rating

Andrea Arnold's BAFTA winner and coming-of-age story starring newcomer Katie Jarvis as disaffected teen Mia and Michael Fassbender in one of his earliest film roles.

Drama 2009 118 mins

Director: Andrea Arnold



Andrea Arnold followed her superb debut feature Red Road with this similarly brilliant slice of social realism. Fifteen-year-old Mia is isolated and frustrated. She’s been excluded from school, fallen out with her friends and is unable to control her raging temper. She finds solace in hip-hop dancing, and the growing interest from her mother’s new boyfriend.

Director Arnold famously discovered lead actress Katie Jarvis after overhearing her loudly arguing at a train station. Jarvis’ engrossing performance is backed by a subtle and ambiguous turn from Michael Fassbender, in one of his earliest screen roles. Shot in a claustrophobic 4:3 aspect ratio, Fish Tank is an incisive and unforgettable drama about longing for escape, positing Mia as an ‘angry young woman’ to rival the Angry Young Men of an earlier era of British social realism. Winning the Jury Prize at Cannes Film Festival and the BAFTA for Best British Film, Andrea Arnold’s blistering portrait of a disaffected teenage girl yearning for an escape is a heart-breaking but essential watch.