A thoroughly honest, though consistently distressing, character piece, Andrea Arnold's FISH TANK is impeccably acted by newcomer Katie Jarvis and rising superstar Michael Fassbender. Jarvis plays Mia, a 15 year old girl growing up in a council estate in East London. She's angry, violent and headed toward a life likely similar to her own hard partying, alcohol fueled mother who has just started seeing the energetic, charming Connor (Michael Fassbender). While the film refuses to paint the characters in broad strokes, every possible bright spot between Mia and Connor is snuffed out after a drunken incident, but the film refuses to easily label Connor as a villain. The performances are amazing, and the constantly hovering hand-held camera puts the audience in the middle of a life flying rapidly out of control. Some of the symbolism is a bit on the nose, and at over two hours it can feel exhausting, but it remains a remarkable achievement for all involved. Winner of the Cannes Jury Prize, and recently released as part of the Criterion Collection.