You have probably never heard of Quvenzhane Wallis. Well, you have now, because it has been written and you have read it, and you must now never forget that name (difficult though it may be- and even more difficult to spell). Quvenzhane Wallis. She was just 5 years old when she played Hushpuppy in 'Beasts of the Southern Wild', directed and co-written by Benh Zeitlin, a film that won the Camera d'Or at the Cannes Festival this year.
Beasts of the Southern Wild is focalised through Hushpuppy and focuses around her and her alcoholic father, living in a fictional and poverty ridden area of Louisiana called 'Bathtub'. It focuses in their preparations for, reactions to, and relationships related to Hurricance Katrina. Part drama, part surreal, magical-realist masterpiece, this film is an absolute gem.
Critics from around the globe have gushed with praise for the film. The Telegraph said "Few American debuts in recent years have announced a talent as singular as that of Behn Zeitlin, the blazingly gifted director and co-writer of Beasts of the Southern Wild". Time Out said that it's "A dreamy but strikingly immediate and frayed-at-the-edges, child's-eye view of life on the margins of America." And, Empire described it as "Beautiful, funny, timely and tender, this is the American arthouse movie of the year." The Daily Mail were unsurprisingly cynical, particularly in regard to its "Left-wing wishful thinking" and refers to Hushpuppy's utterly beautiful and poetic prose as "nonsensical philosophising". We can only put this down to a sad lack of imagination and scorn for anything that isn't Taken 2. We can't yet say whether we consider Beasts of the Southern Wild to be our film of the year, but we love 'nonsensical philosophising' and are beyond impressed with the skills of a 5 year old to deliver that beautiful nonsense in such a heartfelt, sincere and engaging way. We can only applaud it.