Beasts Of The Southern Wild

"Excellent"

Beasts Of The Southern Wild Review


Lushly imaginative filmmaking and strong performances more than make up for newcomer Benh Zeitlin's indulgent fourishes as a new writer-director. This fable-style movie from the American South is moody and engulfing, taking us into a world would never have imagined. And that it's anchored by a powerhouse performance from a 6-year-old actress makes it even more remarkable.

This is Quvenzhane Wallis, who plays Hushpuppy, daughter of the tenacious survivor Wink (Henry). They live in neighbouring trailers in the Bathtub, a tightly knit community in the Louisiana bayou that is completely submerged whenever there's a storm. But this latest flood is worse than usual, and as Wink looks for a solution to their waterlogged problems, Hushpuppy starts to realise that her daddy isn't well. So she decides to go find her long-lost mother, who left shortly after she was born. In her imaginative mind, the flood and Wink's illness are both linked to global warming, which is thawing out the polar ice and releasing prehistoric boar-like aurochs that are heading for the Bathtub.

The key element of the story is Hushpuppy's remarkable awareness that the world is a huge place full of interconnected life, and that she is only one small part of it. But she also knows that even a little girl like her can have an impact on her environment, so her quest for her mother takes on an apocalypse-averting tone. And Wallis is simply unstoppable in the role, capturing Hushpuppy's complex internal journey with a transparency that's breathtaking. Opposite her, Henry manages to keep up with her by internalising his own performance.

The film is shot in golden-hued tones that make the offbeat characters and squalid living conditions both realistic and oddly beautiful. Sometimes this gets a bit overwrought, as the symbolism and wrenching emotions reach almost cartoonish proportions. But this is a haunting and provocative story skilfully told. And Wallis is so magnetic at the centre that it's impossible not to be deeply moved by her odyssey. It's no wonder people started mentioning Oscar the moment the film premiered.

Rich Cline



Beasts Of The Southern Wild

Facts and Figures

Genre: Dramas

Run time: 93 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 5th July 2012

Box Office USA: $12.8M

Distributed by: Fox Searchlight

Production compaines: Cinereach, Court 13 Pictures, Journeyman Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 86%
Fresh: 156 Rotten: 26

IMDB: 7.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Michael Gottwald, Dan Janvey, Josh Penn

Starring: as Hushpuppy, as Wink, Levy Easterly as Jean Battiste, Gina Montana as Miss Bathsheeba, Lowell Landes as Walrus, Pamela Harper as Little Jo, Amber Henry as LZA, Jonshel Alexander as Joy Strong, Nicholas Clark as Boy with Bell, Joseph Brown as Winston, Henry D. Coleman as Peter T, Kaliana Brower as T-Lou, Phillip Lawrence as Dr. Maloney, Hannah Holby as Open Arms Babysitter, Jimmy Lee Moore as Sgt. Major

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

After a number of films, TV series and stage adaptations, Arthur Ransome's beloved 1930 novel...

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

The original BBC sitcom The Office ran for 14 episodes from 2001 to 2003, and...

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

Bold and intelligent, this dark drama is a challenging portrait of the making of an...

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

This hugely enjoyable adventure is a loose remake of the 1977 Disney hit that blended...

The Shallows Movie Review

The Shallows Movie Review

With a simple premise and plenty of visual style, Spanish filmmaker Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown) takes...

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Watching this gross-out comedy, it's clear that the gifted cast and crew had a great...

Nerve Movie Review

Nerve Movie Review

With a premise that feels almost eerily current, this stylish thriller revolves around a phone...

Advertisement
The Carer Movie Review

The Carer Movie Review

Brian Cox gets the role of a lifetime in this warm comedy about living life...

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Writer-director Robert Budreau takes a stylised approach to this biopic of the legendary jazz artist...

Jason Bourne Movie Review

Jason Bourne Movie Review

It's been nine years since Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass collaborated on The Bourne Ultimatum,...

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

Veteran Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg (Festen, The Hunt) returns to a smaller homegrown story after...

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG Movie Review

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison,...

Finding Dory Movie Review

Finding Dory Movie Review

It's been 13 years since the release of the Disney/Pixar hit Finding Nemo, and filmmaker...

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

This is where the Star Trek franchise officially shifts from thoughtful drama into thunderous action....

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.