I haven't seen Andrea Arnold's Fish Tank (a 2009 Criterion film I'll soon add to my list), but its selection by Lena Dunham as her favorite film of the last decade is the jumping off point for this unusual consideration of it against the Girls bottle episode "One Man's Trash". Or, as you may know it, "the one with Patrick Wilson".
“My favorite film of the past decade” is how Dunham describes Andrea Arnold’s 2009 sophomore feature elsewhere in her entry. Superbly photographed in controlled, roving long takes by Robbie Ryan, Fish Tankconcerns a stifled fifteen-year-old girl, Mia (Katie Jarvis) who harbors dreams of escaping her Essex housing estate by becoming a great dancer. A loner with a short fuse, Mia practices her routines along to CDs in between screaming fights with her distantly permissive mother Joanne (Kierston Wareing). Her disciplined attempts to master and marshal her blossoming body bump up against the overpowering desire she feels for Joanne’s new boyfriend, Connor (Michael Fassbender). Suddenly, the same lanky limbs she’s able to swing into all kinds of intricate positions slacken along with her jaw in the presence of her devastatingly handsome new (step)father figure.