Beasts of the Southern Wild

Beasts of the Southern Wild


In this Sundance and Cannes-winning drama, six-year-old Hushpuppy searches for her lost mother in swampland off the Louisiana coast, set against the backdrop of an environmental catastrophe that's unleashed an army of prehistoric creatures.... More

Hushpuppy (newcomer Quvenzhané Wallis) lives with her father in a southern Delta community cut off from the rest of the world. But when his health suddenly deteriorates, nature also tips out of balance and the girl is forced to go in search of her mother while the planet faces melting ice caps, rising temperatures and the impending threat of the creatures called 'aurochs'.Hide

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Flicks Review

A surprise hit at Cannes and Sundance, Benh Zeitlin's Oscar-tipped debut is a film about children that's most definitely not for children. Meandering and confusing but brushed with magic, it pits six-year-old heroine Hushpuppy (Quvenzhané Wallis), against dangers both real and imagined, acknowledging the fact that, to a child, they are one and the same.... More

Hushpuppy lives with her father (Dwight Henry), a drunk, in “the Bathtub”, a bayou island community outside New Orleans. It's not an idyllic life, but it is an innocent one, until Hurricane Katrina floods the area and the residents are washed out into the district's ravaged out-lands, where monsters such as the prehistoric Aurochs (fearsomely tusked black pigs) supposedly dwell.

Seen through Hushpuppy's young eyes, this extraordinary tale gains much in the telling, resembling Herzog's Aguirre: The Wrath Of God narrated by Huckleberry Finn. A fierce thing, with an untameable afro and inquisitive eyes, Hushpuppy is no little girl lost, and she adapts to the hardships of her new life without ever quite understanding what is happening to her.

It's a stunning performance for such a young actress, and Zeitlin shoots everything from hip-height, slipping in and out of focus to mimic the ebbs and flows of Hushpuppy's unformed memory. Everything in the Bathtub is scavenged or found, and the film has a ramshackle charm to match, freewheeling through the story's traumatic events with whirligig charm. It's extraordinary rather than enthralling – and certainly not for everyone – but Beasts is the strangest, sweetest coming-of-age flick you'll see all year.Hide

The Peoples' Reviews

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BY delarge101 superstar

Benh Zeitlin's Beasts of the Southern Wild is skilfully shot and visually spectacular, marking Quvenzhane Wallis as one of the most talented young-performers in modern cinema, and proves that imagination is the key component in film-making.

BY JackWallace superstar

Beasts of the Southern Wild is a must see. I haven't been so emotionally attached to a movie since Martin Scorsese's Hugo. The incredible performances from the two unknown actors, Quvenzhane Wallis and Dwight Henry is what makes there intense father-daughter relationship so convincing. What makes independent films like Beasts so great is that small budgets makes up with imagination. If the director had a bigger budget, I think some of the creativity seen here would be lost. It's interesting to... More see the lives of these characters. The dangerous environments they live in and hunting for food. It kept me engrossed in what happens to Hushpuppy and Wink (Quvenzhane Wallis and Dwight Henry) throughout the whole story. Along with Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master and Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained, Beasts of the Southern Wild looks like a strong contender for Best Picture at the Oscars this year. Beast of the Southern Wild is one of the most original, imaginative, and powerful movies I've seen in a long time.Hide

BY freshdude superstar

Where to start ... it is a hard film to talk about to people who have not seen it. So rich in it's subject matters, characters and metaphors, it challenges the modern western concept of everlinked wealth and happiness. The film also tackles issues such as climate change, uprooting, and what it means to be a good parent.
I heard some people comment after the screening that they thought the film was depressing, and could not help but tell them that in my opinion the reason they thought that is... More because those people were too far stuck into what capitalist society tells us success is, and that you really need to detach yourself from this to truly appreciate the film.
At first sight the characters do look like an unlucky bunch, but it truly comes clear that it is quite the opposite. They have it all: food, shelter and each other ... because that is all we really need to be happy and this may be the ultimate message of the film.
At first sight it looks like Hushpuppy (brilliantly played by 6 years old Quvenzane Wallis) is not too fortunate to have the father she does ... but it turns out her father is really doing a fantastic job to prepare her for the world she finds herself in. It is tough love in a tough world but love nonetheless.

I could go on and on, but the best advice I can give is to go and watch it on a big screen if you can. A truly unique film .Hide

A brilliant film playing on the link between the chain of natural disasters that we have been experiencing and the part that man has played in causing them.

A young girl in the town of New Orleans experiences the flood with her unstable,drunkard ,heart patient father and learns how to be independent .

Rife with symbolism and sentiment this movie would be lost on a child.

There's a strange phenomenon related to the Sundance festival each year. The evolution of the world's most celebrated independent film festival from its DIY workshopping roots in the 1980s to the corporate bidding frenzy of today is well documented, but one constant is the massive buzz that surrounds, more often than not, a single film each year. What's odd is how often these films fail, victims of the pressure generated by the relentless hype machine. At 2012's festival, the 'it' film was Benh... More Zeitlin's Beasts of the Southern Wild, a grimy fantasy set in the bayous of Louisiana during Hurricane Katrina.

Thankfully, Beasts of the Southern Wild beats the Sundance curse and even exceeds most of the hype. In a tale that feels inspired by ancient mythology, the film follows Hush Puppy (a revelatory Quvenzhane Wallis), a young girl living with her father Wink (Dwight Harris) amongst a nomadic fringe community in an area of Louisiana known as The Bathtub. Following the destruction of the storm, Hush Puppy embarks on a coming of age quest of sorts to find her absent mother, yet what she really finds is a strength of self and community through an understanding of the natural world and her place in it.

Beasts of the Southern Wild is an intense and beautiful sensory experience, and Zeitlin announces himself as a major new talent on the independent scene. He takes the time early on to establish Hush Puppy's fascination with nature, surrounded as she is with various animals, both pets and livestock, which she seems to love in equal measure. It's a very haptic film, as Zeitlin lingers on Hush Puppy's need to touch and feel everything she encounters. When the storm arrives however, rather than seeing the destruction we are only permitted to hear it and, when seeing the film in a dark theatre, it's deafening and terrifying.

All of the inhabitants of The Bathtub paint interesting and colourful background into the story, but this is Hush Puppy's story, and Wallis is truly remarkable. It's the sort of natural non-performance that only a young first time actor can give, and while Harris is maybe a little too loud as Wink, Hush Puppy goes toe-to-toe with him right up until the very moving conclusion. Credit must be given to Zeitlin and his co-writers for crafting such a well formed child character, but they really hit the jackpot when they found the girl to play her.

One of the most unique and original films to come from and American independent in recent memory, Beasts of the Southern Wild is more than deserving of the attention it and its maker are getting. Feeling like it came from the heart of the community it depicts, it is a personal and respectful story of survival on the surface, yet also a much needed reminder of our place in the natural world.


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The Press Reviews

86% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • Sometime miraculous films come into being, made by people you've never heard of, starring unknown faces, blindsiding you with creative genius. Beasts of the Southern Wild is one of the year's best films. Full Review

  • Beautiful, funny, timely and tender, this is the American arthouse movie of the year. Full Review

  • Beasts of the Southern Wild is a vividly poetic and maybe even therapeutic response to one of the most painful and mortifying episodes in modern American history, second only to 9/11. Full Review

  • There's no way you won't be captivated by Wallis, chosen ahead of 3,500 candidates to play the tiny folk hero who narrates the story. Her performance in this deceptively small film is a towering achievement. Full Review

  • Mark down the date: June 27. That's when American moviegoers will see this perfect storm of a film, and the tiny force of nature that is Quvenzhané Wallis. Full Review

  • Despite its hard-scrabble setting, eco-gloominess and dystopian story, this dark fairytale is engagingly vivid and life-affirming. An ambitious love letter to a Louisiana way of life that's being literally washed away. Full Review

  • A stunning debut that finds its dandelion-haired heroine fighting rising tides and fantastic creatures in a mythic battle against modernity. Full Review

  • An exceptional American independent feature that deserves the best efforts to tap audiences that would surely embrace it. Full Review

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