Movie Reviews

Review: 'White Bird in a Blizzard'

By Ang Jia YunMovies - 23 January 2015 12:00 AM | Updated 9:36 PM

Review: 'White Bird in a Blizzard'

Our Rating

2/5 Stars

This line cropped up 15 minutes into the movie: "Hundreds of wives go missing every week."

And we can't help but think that maybe Detective Theo Scieziesciez (Thomas Jane) is on to some Hollywood trend there, especially after the recent box-office hit 'Gone Girl' also went along the same "missing person" track.

Directed by Gregg Araki, the man behind the highly acclaimed drama film 'Mysterious Skin', along with Hollywood's newest "it" girl Shailene Woodley and French beauty Eva Green playing mother and daughter, 'White Bird in a Blizzard' is just begging to be an indie sellout.  

The coming-of-age drama thriller deals with female sexual awakening – and gives much screen time to the female body – but it leaves plenty to be desired in other departments.


Set in the autumn of 1988, 17-year-old Katrina Connors, or "Kat" (Woodley) discovers that her mother, Eve (Eva Green), has vanished without a trace. But what's more baffling than the disappearance is the muted sigh of relief apparent at the Connors' home thereafter, almost as if her teenage daughter and her husband, Brock (Christopher Meloni), have been itching for the bittersweet day to manifest itself.

There are back-and-forth flashbacks into the past and the present, as viewers get slices of what is and has been going on in the lives of the three family members.

Kat (Shailey Woodley) gets entangled in a passionate teenage love affair with her neighbour, Phil (Shiloh Fernandez) | Photo: White Bird in a Blizzard

Kat discovers her sexuality with her hunky but dopey neighbour, Phil (Shiloh Fernandez), and Eve withers away, sick of being the "Noble-Prized homemaker".  

Her marriage on the rocks, Eve bends over backwards to hold onto the remnants of her youth, trying to flirt with her own daughter's new love.

Kat goes out of control herself, as she begins an affair with the much older Detective Theo.

In drunken stupor, Eve (Eva Green) dons revealing garments to catch the eye of her daughter's beau | Photo: White Bird in a Blizzard

Despite all the entanglements, there is nothing in any of them to keep you emotionally invested and you soon find yourself thinking, just like the characters do with their lives, "Who cares?"

While Woodley gives a first-rate performance of teenage angst, her character is not fleshed out intelligibly.

Then, there are those frequent nightmares she has of her mother set in snow-white canvases, but they hardly do anything and are not the least bit spine-chilling.

Kat (Shailene Woodley) is haunted by nightmares of her mother trapped in a snowstorm | Photo: White Bird in a Blizzard


The movie could do with better pacing, and it is only in the second half that it deals with Kat seeking closure on her mother's disappearance. 

Don't hold your breath that it gets better though, because it doesn't. After you are fed with pointless, stale dialogue, you are slapped with a lacklustre ending and a random twist that make you roar with disbelief. 

Even a rom-com would do a better job at catching you off-guard. And you just might feel compelled to watch 'Gone Girl' again to purge this so-called mystery movie from your head. 

Movie Photos

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  • White Bird In A Blizzard 2014
  • White Bird In A Blizzard 2014
  • White Bird In A Blizzard 2014
  • White Bird In A Blizzard 2014
  • White Bird In A Blizzard 2014
  • White Bird In A Blizzard 2014
  • White Bird In A Blizzard 2014
  • White Bird In A Blizzard 2014
  • White Bird In A Blizzard 2014
  • White Bird In A Blizzard 2014
White Bird In A Blizzard
  • White Bird In A Blizzard

  • Rated
    M18 /
    Drama, Thriller
  • Language
  • (1 Review)