OH DEAR. Gregg Araki's latest, White Bird in a Blizzard (based on the Laura Kasischke novel of the same name), is a bit of a hot mess. Melodrama competes with smug superficiality and uncomfortable/hot sex (this is an Araki joint, after all), resulting in soft-serve wreckage that's neither good nor bad enough to cling to the sides of your memory.
Shailene Woodley stars as Kat, the 17-year-old daughter of dysfunctional parents. Mom (Eva Green) is cracking up in a cook/clean/repeat '50s-era nightmare of pre-feminist sterility (perplexing, then, that the film takes place in the late '80s and early '90s) while Dad (Christopher Meloni) suffers complacently under her withering disdain. Green is resolutely wacky in the role, vacillating between red-lipstick perfection and wine-sloshing disaster, torn by boredom and jealousy. But she's also grossly miscast, a problem compounded by the anachronistic presentation of her character.
No matter: Kat is at least as concerned with her mother's sudden disappearance as she is with her newfound sexuality, boning her cute neighbor as well as the much-older detective investigating her mother's case. Repressed and self-centered, Kat isn't quite likeable, ensuring investment in the outcome (including a clunky twist at the end) is low stakes. If its wrongness were turned up a healthy notch, Blizzard might have potential for cult status, but what we've got is more of a tepid WTF.