When you hear Shailene Woodley’s name uttered, the first thought is Tris from Divergent, though for the hopeless romantics buried deep inside of us, we’ll recall the upsetting tale that was The Fault in Our Stars – which just proves how versatile and talented she really is. Now with latest indie flick from director Gregg Araki, White Bird in a Blizzard – Woodley is a seductive powerhouse alongside Eva Green and Christopher Meloni.
The film follows Kat (Woodley) after the disappearance of her mother which throws her life as she knows it into utter chaos. Not only is this a chance for her show a different side of ability we haven’t seen before. If you are familiar with Araki’s work, you will know he delves into the deepest darkest places and focuses entirely upon emotion. This is no exception and Woodley’s performance is going to both shock and impress her fans. It’s safe to say that the little girl in The Descendant’s has well and truly grown up.
When an actor takes on a role that is so unlike anything they have ever done before it can invariably alienate fans. Albeit, it’s no doubt after viewing Woodley here the girl is sure to increase her already growing following. We currently have a plethora of young actors, especially women, who once given that trying role proves to us that if a character is written correctly, they can truly show off their acting credentials.
The likes of Jennifer Lawrence, Saoirse Ronan, Dakota and Elle Fanning are all prime examples of young actresses who have stepped away from conservative roles and succeeded in doing so. Becoming quite a trend with the recent success of Birdman over award season; it seems more conventional tales are falling by the wayside, making room for rather brilliant cinema to have its moment in the limelight. As all filmmakers are doing, actors as well should always push the boundaries. When it comes to Woodley it is mighty hard not to compare the girl to Lawrence. The Hunger Games and Divergent are young adult fiction turned screen adaptations, placing both women in the all important role of the heroine.
It’s interesting to see that when we look at Lawrence’s filmography independent flicks such as Winter’s Bone and Like Crazy appear before her big break as Katniss and indeed Mystique in the X-Men franchise. One of the biggest decisions actors have to make is the type of role they take and of course, will it benefit their career. Christian Bale was told that taking on American Psycho would have been career suicide and look at him now, he’s running Wayne Enterprises. The only way to advance in an acting career is to take on challenging roles and apply yourself. With White Bird in a Blizzard, Woodley has done exactly that. Not only is she playing a very different and risky role here but does with utter finesse.
Another contributing factor to youngsters branching out and snapping up those juicy roles is down to the quality of the script. We need feistier woman roles, roles that youngsters will want to fight over to get the job – plain and simple. If all a character does is drink skinny lattes and go shopping all the time, what is there really to work with? Here, the traits given to Kat are quite the opposite. The fascinatingly flawed characters first penned by novelist Laura Kasischke are expertly transferred on screen with Araki’s own flair. As well as delving into the affects of your mother going missing does to you, we are also given a coming of age tale. Kat is fast turning into an adult and no one can stop her. Drinking, smoking, sex, this girl needs everything she can get and quite possibly in order to deal with the lack of a mother figure. Woodley, brings a rebellious, yet caring tendency to her troubled Kat too, taking her character to the nth degree with ease. Just as Saoirse Ronan did in Hanna, Woodley brings her best performance to date.
White Bird in a Blizzard is a twin peak-esque intoxicating piece of cinema that utilises its cast members beautifully amongst one tragic story. With one hell of a killer 80’s soundtrack be sure not to miss Woodley’s latest performance.
White Bird in a Blizzard is released on March 6th.