I'm generally a fan of director Gregg Araki's brand of neon-kitsch provocation, but his new film “White Bird in a Blizzard” disappointed me at Sundance. Based on Laura Kasischke's coming-of-age novel and starring ubiquitous ingenue Shailene Woodley as a high-schooler discovering her sexuality while being haunted by her femme fatale mother, it's material that provides ample scope for Araki's signature erotic fixations and camp detailing, but winds up feeling like his tamest effort to date.
Not to blame at all is the young actress, gamely disrobing and delivering an affecting turn amid the heightened chaos; even better is Eva Green, bizarrely cast as Woodley's mother but making the most of every lascivious line she gets. Sadly, you don't get to see any of Green in this recently-released clip montage for the film, but you do get to see a lot of Woodley at her most extroverted, tearing up the dance floor and making out with cheerful abandon. It's a slick, sexy tease for a movie that may not deliver all it promises on that front — though now Gregg Araki film is without its sensual pleasures. Check it out above.
Magnolia Pictures will release “White Bird in a Blizzard” on iTunes and VOD on September 25, before bringing it to theaters a month later.