Before she was a three-time Cannes Film Festival Jury Prize winner, as well as an Oscar winner, Andrea Arnold was captivated with depicting reckless behavior and the subsequent consequences, as proven by her debut short film, “Milk.” With a shoestring cast and a ten-minute runtime, “Milk” cuts straight to the core without wasting a breath.
Following a miscarriage, Hetty (Lynda Steadman) decides not to attend the funeral for her child, despite her husband’s (Stephen McGann) pleading. After wandering around town, she meets Martin (Lee Oakes), and together they embark on an impulsive, drunk joyride in his car. Unconventional and uncompromising, Arnold’s debut short packs the emotional wallop critics audiences have come to admire in her work.
“Milk” was followed by two more short films, “Dog” and “Wasp,” the latter of which won the Academy Award for Best Live-Action Short Film in 2004. Arnold’s streak of films featuring gritty, reckless realism, particularly centered around women, continued in her debut feature, “Red Road,” as well as in the 2010 BAFTA Best Film-winner “Fish Tank.”
Her latest film “American Honey” premiered at this year’s Cannes Film Festival before traveling the festival circuit to Toronto, Zurich, Fantastic Fest and others. It opened in limited release on September 30 and is currently in wide release.