It blazed through Sundance winning the festival’s top prize then turned heads at Cannes taking home the best first feature film award for its director, Benh Zeitlin. Now chances are BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD is playing at a theater within driving distance of your home. The film is told through the perspective of Hushpuppy, a 6 year old girl living in “The Bathtub” a dilapidated, nearly inundated community on the wrong side of the New Orleans levees. We follow her as she grapples with a contentious relationship with her single dad, and oncoming storm and mystical creatures knows as aurochs.
Having seen the film I can guarantee you won’t watch another film like it in theaters this year. It is as if Spielberg (daddy issues, childlike wonder, uplifting score), Aronofsky (tight over the shoulder camera, gritty) and Malick (philosophical voiceover, cuts to natural world surroundings) had a an adorable baby in the bayou. The aforementioned traits, however, aren’t what steal the show. It’s 6-year-old Quvenzhane Wallis powerhouse performance as the driving engine of the film, Hushpuppy. Wallis tackles the role with equal parts stoicism and heart not to mention she’s as cute as a button.
I watch a lot of movies and at times can find them too familiar in their use of tropes and formulas. I’m very glad to say that this one jolted me out of auto pilot. The awe of movie magic is alive and well in BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD. I highly recommend you trek out to see this one on the big screen.
BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD is likely playing in a theater near you. Click here to find out the closest theater near you.