Sometimes a film comes along that you didn’t catch in theaters but gets all of the industry nominations so you know it is good and you have to watch it. When you do finally have the time to sit and watch it on some lazy day when you have nothing else to do you never know what to expect. With 4 oscar nomination earlier this year, including best movie and actress (youngest ever.) I knew Beasts of the Southern Wild was going to be a treat. I didn’t know it would be such a delicious treat with many layers and a satisfying end.
Directed by newcomer Benh Zeitlin and written by him and Lucy Alibar based on her play. This beautiful film takes place in a part of this country that I never knew about but won't forget, The Bathtub a Louisiana Bayou. The story centers around a father played by Dwight Henry and his 6 year old daughter played by newcomer Quvenzhane Wallis who live in this small community where everyone knows one another and they all look after each other especially when a major storm hits their tiny piece of the country and are cut off from the rest of humanity. But let me get back to the father called Wink and his young daughter Hushpuppy who is also the storyteller. At first they didn’t seem to get along, as I watched I felt like she was someone the father wanted nothing to do with. I was proven wrong as the film went on. All the father really wanted for his daughter was that she survived. He taught her everything he could in order to do this, including a cute little scene where he is teaching her to fish by placing her hand into the water and wait for a fish to come to her then grab and “punch it”. When the storm hits the two take shelter in their small roughly put together home. Father and daughter survive along with others in the town including the female owner of a bar, two elderly men and a teacher looking after three orphans. They live and celebrate life together within the bar as they wait for the levees to open allowing the water to go down so they can walk on land once again.
Every year I watch The Oscars and every year I hear those who are say “it’s just an honor to be nominated “ which can be hard to believe them but every once in a while a film comes along that just being nominated is TRULY a honor. I say Beasts of the Southern Wild is one of those films. It is beautiful to watch, a roller coaster of emotion from beginning to end and I have not been able to stop thinking about it. The story is not what I expected, in a good way, and the entire (small) cast is amazing. In the end there was a great lesson to be learned a lesson about knowing who you are and finding your place in this large world.
If you haven’t seen this passionate little film find a copy and watch Beasts of the Southern Wild