White Bird In A Blizzard (2014)


 
Character: Eve Connors
Director: Gregg Araki
Co-Stars: Shailene Woodley, Christopher Meloni, Shiloh Fernandez, Angela Bassett, Gabourey Sidibe, Thomas Jane, Sheryl Lee
Written by: Gregg Araki
Based on: White Bird in a Blizzard, a 1999 novel by Laura Kasischke
Genre: Drama, Mystery, Thriller
MPAA Rating: Rated R
 
 
 
 
 
Summary

Kat Connors (Shailene Woodley) is 17 years old when her perfect homemaker mother, Eve (Eva Green), a beautiful, enigmatic, and haunted woman, disappears – just as Kat is discovering and relishing her newfound sexuality. Having lived for so long in a stifled, emotionally repressed household, she barely registers her mother’s absence and certainly doesn’t blame her doormat of a father, Brock (Christopher Meloni), for the loss. In fact, it’s almost a relief. But as time passes, Kat begins to come to grips with how deeply Eve’s disappearance has affected her. Returning home on a break from college, she finds herself confronted with the truth about her mother’s departure, and her own denial about the events surrounding it.

 
 
Eva Green’s Role

Eva stars as Eve Connors who is the mother of Kat (Shailene Woodley) and wife of Brock Connors (Christopher Meloni). When she mysteriously disappears one day, Kat’s life is thrown into chaos.

 
 
Gallery Links
Posters
Official Teaser Trailer
French Trailer
Official Trailer
Promotional Stills
On The Set
Blu-Ray Screen Captures
 
 
Online Links
Official Website
Official Facebook Page
IMDb Page
 
 
Available on: DVD and Blu-Ray
 
 
Quotes

Eva Green

On getting the role of Eve Connors

“I remember I was in Bulgaria doing the 300 film and my agent was like, ‘My god, you need to look at this I’m sure you’re going to love this.’ I just really loved the story, and it was so unusual and frustrated and it had such a great conflict with the daughter. I was very moved by it, so I said yes straight away!”

 

On portraying Eve Connors

“When I found out my daughter would be played by Shailene, I was like, oh my god! It’s a bit unbelievable; we look more like sisters. But Gregg was like, don’t worry, it’s a bit surreal and you’ll have another hairdo. I was worried that it would not be believable, so I loved her journey. You see her young in her 20s and then it ages me. But I tried to portray that aging more in her character. She’s an alcoholic and her body changes and her voice changes, so it was a challenge.”

“(It’s true.) She’s kind of a mixture of a lot of women. She could have been a movie star but she didn’t fulfill her dreams and got trapped like a bird in a cage. Sometimes it felt like, am I going completely over the top, a complete alcoholic kind of thing, but Gregg allowed me to go there because it was a dream. You have all these teenagers and they’re cool and I had the excuse of being in a dream.”

 

On working with Gregg Araki

“In the beginning it was a struggle to find the money for the film and then the actors. But it’s nice that this film was made all with heart, and Gregg is very open and he’s so passionate. He’s like a child on set, with this passion and he’s so loving. He’s really all about who these characters are and the story. It’s all fun. There’s no judgement or games or bullshit. It’s pure joy and we all loved it.”

 

Gregg Araki

On working with Eva

“This is what Eva Green is in real life. She’s just this gorgeous creature you just can’t take your eyes off her. She’s so mesmerizing and stunning and that’s why when she plays older Eve, you see this kind of weary sad figure was really kind of startling to watch her transformation and that was really all Eva. We did a little bit of makeup on her sort of darken her eyes a little bit but super subtle. The rest of it was all Eva Green. She just changed into this different person the way she moved, the way she walked, the way she held her body it was really unbelievable to watch.”

“Eva Green to me, I worship her. I mean she is so amazing in the movie.”

“She’s just the most amazing actress in the world. Eva was only 32 when we made this movie. In the film, there’s young Eve and there’s older Eve, so when we were casting, it was like we could cast an older actress and try to make her look younger for her younger scenes. Or we could cast a younger actress and try to make her look older. When you see Eva, when she’s young, the scene in the restaurant where she’s like this glamorous kind of movie star character, when she’s getting married and she’s like this radiant bride, that’s what Eva Green looks like. When she would show up on set, we did minimal makeup on her. No prosthetics, nothing. It was literally just all of her acting. She just showed up and she was this withered, sad, kind of tragic figure. She’s just amazing.”

“You’ve never seen Eva Green like this before. It will blow your mind. The funny thing about Eva Green is—it’s weird—because she’s playing 40ish for this movie and Eva is only 32 when we made this movie. And Shiloh is like 27 and he plays Shai’s teenage boyfriend. I don’t want to give it away, but there’s a weird flirtation between the Shiloh and Eva in the movie. And in real life they are four years apart. But in the movie, so creepy. Because Eva is literally like so insanely amazing. I mean the thing about the movie is that you see the mother when she is young and beautiful and that is what Eva Green looks like and then you see her when she is a little older and living this miserable life and feeling super trapped. And Eva just became this other person and it was the craziest thing. To see it on set was insane.”

 

On the character of Eve Connors

“I do think that she’s definitely depressed. Yes, possibly bipolar. I just saw her character as being a very tragic figure in the sense that if you think about when she grew up, she grew up in the ‘50s and ‘60s. Her role models were Jackie O, etc. Eva Green and I talked about these old school Hitchcock movie star heroines that were always these glamorous, like the perfect wife, the perfect mother. Shai’s character talks about it a little bit in the film. That was her only option. She didn’t have an option of become a doctor, travel the world or do this. It was just you’re going to get married and have kids. He character itself to me was very tragic in the sense that she had no choices in life and so found herself in this existence that was for her, soul crushing.”

 

Shailene Woodley

On working with Eva

“Eva Green was incredible. I didn’t get to work with her too often because she wasn’t in the movie that much cause she disappears and when we did get to work together she embodied a very different character than what you normally see her as. Eva is 10 years older than me in real life and she’s playing my mother and so she put on a wig and they sort of aged her face in a way and she’s this gorgeous woman but to see her sort of in this broken down older fashion immediately elicits different emotion than if you just saw beautiful Eva Green walking into a room.”

 
 
Eva’s character Eve Connors
“No more for you. God you’re getting fatter by the hour.”

“I do know what a good fuck is”

“And the party is over before it’s even begun!”

“Splendid!”

“What? You don’t like it? Well tough shit. You

don’t like this skirt, I don’t care! You don’t

like this skirt and I don’t …you…get your god damn

hands off me!! I’ll wear whatever the hell I want

whenever I want to!”

“I don’t want fucking Chinese!”

“Why won’t anyone listen to me?”
 
 
Production Trivia & Facts
Has a run time of 1 hour and 31 minutes.

Is an American-French co-production.

Was filmed in Los Angeles, California, USA.

Eva did not audition for the role of Eve Connors. Director Gregg Araki is a huge fan of Eva and her body of work that he thought of her while he was writing the adapted screenplay.

Gregg Araki called up Eva on the phone and offered her the role of Eve Connors while she was shooting 300: Rise Of An Empire (2014) in Bulgaria and she agreed.

Eva’s acting and dialect coach was Debra Bruce-Nazarian who has been her dialect coach for Perfect Sense (2011), Dark Shadows (2012), Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014), and Penny Dreadful (2014).

Eva had to go through several takes with the fake snow and she was a constant professional telling writer/director Gregg Araki she was fine and to go do it again. Gregg and Shailene both felt really bad for her. She had to lay in it and rise up out of it. The fake snow was all in her mouth, her eyes.

Eva shot her scenes in the span of a week and a half.

Eva, who plays Shailene Woodley’s mother in the film is, in reality, only 11 years older than Shailene.

The film was screened twice in Scotland in 2015 as part of the Glasgow Film Festival (February 19 and 20, 2015).
 
 
Awards & Nominations

Deauville Film Festival (2014)

Nominated (Grand Special Prize) – Gregg Araki

Chlotrudis Awards (2015)

Nominated (Chlotrudis Awards)

Best Supporting Actress – Eva Green

 
 
Critics on Eva Green’s performance

Peter Debruge, Variety

“Eva Green goes deliciously unhinged in Gregg Araki’s latest!”

Brian Tallerico, RogerEbert.com

“And ‘White Bird’ is at its most interesting when Green is allowed to play the dark soul of a woman shattered by the realization that her daughter was suddenly more interesting than she was. Green is fantastic here, truly memorable in just a few scenes. Sadly, she couldn’t be in all of them.”

Chase Whale, Indiewire: The Playlist

“Because it must be said—Eva Green isn’t exactly the star of ‘White Bird,’ but she gives one hell of a performance. With the small running time she’s in, she doesn’t just chew up the scenery, she devours it whole (including every actor that shares space with her). Her vicious maw is as staggering as her talent threatens to overshadow everyone who dares to come across her path……All in all, “White Bird in a Blizzard” is worth seeing for Eva Green’s performance alone, and to experience the dreamlike quality of Gregg Araki’s individual, highly unique vision of cinema.”

Jesse Knight, Movie Mezzanine

“Green perpetuates her reputation as one of the most fiercely uncompromising acting talents working today. She’s often the luminary in whatever film is lucky enough to be elevated by her presence. It’s equally true of Woodley, who earlier this year emotionally eviscerated audiences in The Fault in Our Stars. As in The Descendants and The Spectacular Now, she tends to be the emotional hub, leaving it to her co-stars to keep in step with her, which ends up improving their performances. To watch Woodley and Green, two eyes of an emotional acting storm, whirl around each other is apocalyptic. Their scenes are palpably destructive and mesmerizing. Green has created one of the most deliciously ferocious movie moms, while Woodley matches Green’s hysterics with an equally pitched yearning to be heard. At times, it’s as if both are spliced in from different dimensions, which can be disorienting, but only helps elucidate the tenuousness of their relationship. It’s carefully choreographed chaos, and allows for both actresses to reach previously undiscovered plateaus in their careers.”

Brian Orndorf, Blu-Ray.com

“While Kat is positioned as the lead character, the emotional vessel for the audience, Eve’s tale of crushed spirit through the domestication process seems closest to Araki’s heart. It’s strange casting to find Green in such a role, especially in the same year as her barnstorming work in “300: Rise of an Empire,” and while she’s not the most believable suburban mother around, Green takes on the psychological obstacle course with aplomb, feeling around Eve’s meltdown through mockery, making moves toward Phil as a way to punish her family and revive sexuality lost to mind-numbing household routine. It’s tragic and satiric, rolled into Green’s naturally vampiric manner, creating quite a figure of discontent to confused Kat and taunt Brock.”

Bilge Ebiri, Vulture

“Woodley and Green are such fine actors, though, and so well-matched — Woodley’s hesitancy playing off Green’s inner fire — that they help smooth over some of the film’s dodgier elements.”

Scott Feinberg, scottfeinberg.com

“……She’s matched in intensity by Eva Green, who is such a delicious mess as Kat’s mentally unwinding mother that I missed having her on screen.”/p>

Jason Best, What’s On TV

“Eva Green’s performance as Kat’s mother is even more go-for-broke than her co-star’s (though less of an eye-opener for those who’ve seen her recent turns in 300: Rise of an Empire and Sin City: A Dame to Kill For), a deliciously over-the-top, high-camp portrayal of a raving, raging woman driven to the brink of madness by boredom and sexual frustration.”

Elliott Noble, Sky

“Without her portrayal of smart but ordinary teen Kat Connors to ground it, there’s a danger that White Bird in a Blizzard might be consumed by Eva Green’s scenery-chewing turn as her mother Eve, a melodramatic fusion of Joan Crawford and Mrs. Robinson.”

Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

“Woodley plays Kat, a high-school student who has a tense relationship with her imperious and increasingly unbalanced mother Eve, played by Eva Green with a nostril-flaring air of incipient craziness. This is good casting, though the role Green was born for will not arrive until the Sunset Boulevard remake rolls around.”

Matt Barone, Complex

“Also stellar here is, unsurprisingly, Eva Green, Hollywood’s boldest actress and White Bird in a Blizzard’s enigmatic conflict-catalyst, a troubled woman lashing out against domestication while losing her mind.”

Beth Hanna, Indiewire: Thompson on Hollywood

“French actress Green, an underused talent, has always had something crazed behind her large, popped eyes, a ferocious energy that serves her well here as a woman disappointed by life and content to rage against it until everyone in her wake is as miserable as she is.”

Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter

“Green walks a fine line between composure and lunacy, although the director pushes her to one or two over-the-top moments.”

Rich Cline,ContactMusic

“Both Woodley and Green are excellent, offering powerful performances that are involving and haunting. These are complex, strong women trapped in dull suburbia, and the way they interact often catches us by surprise”

Jamie Graham, Total Film

“But White Bird is at its most colourful when Green is on screen as the jealous, competitive mom who’s threatened by her teen daughter’s looks, youth and love life.”

Guy Lodge, HitFix

“……current vamp-for-hire Eva Green, meanwhile, is all stylized hauteur, as if playing Joan Crawford under Todd Solondz’s instruction. (She’s pretty great, in other words.)…….Her mother Eve (Green) has no such reticence, posing at every given opportunity in slinky, ridge-shouldered femme fatale dresses and flirting lasciviously with local boys. (She extends a dinner invitation to one, cooing that she makes a mean “crab thermidor” — Green says the words as if offering sex on a popsicle stick. It’s the most delicious moment in the entire film.)”

Mark Stafford, Electric Sheep

“The prevailing mood is a kind of woozy numbness, only occasionally pierced by moments of shock, or by Eva Green’s unsettling performance as the missing mother, wine glass ever in hand, poisonous to her husband, all over her daughter’s boyfriend, throbbing with unmet desire. The film becomes a lot more compelling while she’s on screen, and frankly she wipes the floor with the younger cast, who, while fun to watch, with their profane (and occasionally anachronistic) banter, just don’t have the dimensions of mommie dearest.”

Andy Greene, Popinsomniacs

“As I’ve already harped on, the casting in this movie is brilliant. Just imagine Eva Green as a misanthropic housewife, someone who would be jealous of her daughter’s looks, because she’s getting old. This is a woman whose chest was too hot for a Sin City 2 poster, and that’s precisely why it works so well. Eva Green embodies Eve Connor, the miracle homemaker turned miserable, listless drunk, with a husky voice and a sliver of the possessed version of her Vanessa Ives character in Penny Dreadful, and it’s arguably more terrifying to find her in 1980’s suburbia. Eva Green is as magnetic an actor as there is working today (is there a more interesting one? Envision a movie that costars Green and Adam Driver…), and her absence is felt as much as her overwhelming presence in this one.”

Jeff Nelson, DVDTalk

“Green most certainly enjoys playing the more over-the-top roles, and this is another one to add to the collection. She’s absolutely engrossing on screen, as we just can’t keep our eyes off of her crazy antics throughout the course of the flashbacks.”

Allyson Johnson, The Young Folks

“Green plays up the hysteria in Eve’s voice and performs in a scene-chewing manner that leads up perfectly to a character meltdown.”

Adam Kautzer, FilmDispenser

“Christopher Meloni and Eva Green do just as strong work as Woodley. Eva Green continues her streak of manic strong women here in the role of Woodley’s mother Eve. Green’s over the top delivery works well here as a portrait of a mother who’s looks are fading as fast as her atrophy for the life she lives is growing inside of her. To see something as deranged as 300: Rise of an Empire and White Bird in a Blizzard and how she is able to gel into both perfectly is a testament to her prowess as a performer. Both films show that Green appears to be just beginning a very interesting and arresting career……The final moments between Meloni and Green are as heartbreaking as one will see this year.”

Mike Shutt, Rope of Silicon

“The flashbacks are explosive bouts of emotion, with Eva Green snarling and spitting venom as only Eva Green can….and the melodramatic showcase for Eva Green as a housewife spiraling out of her mind in a loveless marriage and joyless life is filled with fireworks you cannot take your eyes off of.”

Tirdad Derakhshani, Philadelphia Inquirer

“Green is a delight to watch as Eve, a woman always on the verge of a nervous breakdown.”

Nina Chabel, Montreal Rampage

“Eva Green took on the role of the disappearing mother, Eve. As always, Green was amazing and managed to make herself feel present on screen even though she was not the lead. Ever since I saw her in The Dreamers I can’t get enough of her!”

Anders Wright, San Diego Union-Tribune

“Green’s character, on the other hand, is a cipher, and Araki is clearly fascinated by her and her representation of the unhappiness that often exists beneath the veneer of the perfect suburban American life.”

wornoutspines.com

“Eva Green’s performance is unbelievable. She’s intense, beautiful and creepy at the same time. Her face, her voice and attitude transpires so much, how come this woman does not have an Oscar? Or is not a goddess in a Marvel movie?”