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Cannes 2009: Fish Tank is ace…

The Palme d’Or has officially come to life. Thanks to Andrea Arnold, a Barking council estate and a dictionary of sweary insults.

Fish Tank – a companion of sorts to 2006’s Red Road – is Brit realism at its very best, mirroring the hopeless life and desperate loves of a mum and her two daughters when a new man enters their life.



The man is Connor (Michael Fassbender) and he’s going out with the mum of 15-year-old Mia (Katie Jarvis, above), but with the eyes he’s making at the young ’un, frankly, you pretty much know what’s coming…

But there’s a great difference between a story being predictable and it being inevitable (That’s Jamie’s line by the way. He’s looking forward to saying it on the video blog later) and Fish Tank deals with the latter.

Nothing here is sugar-coated, nothing easy-watching. It simply sets out to show an estate of disrepute, where all dream of Britain’s Got Talent or X Factor, listening to California Dreamin’ or Nas’s “Life is bitch until you die” to break their monotony.

The Fish Tank of the title? Every fish in the tank wants to swim in the ocean. It’s just sometimes not possible.

Incredibly tough-going – the lady next to Total Film covered her eyes twice and went “Ooh, oh no!” a few times in shock – Fish Tank can expect to be in the running for the big prize.

And we're right behind it.

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