Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)

DailyView: Day 283, Movie 398

A magical fantasy combined with a real life feel, Beasts of the Southern Wild was a powerful film of life, family and courage.

Six year old Hushpuppy (Quvenzhané Wallis) had a lot to face for someone so young. Her father Wink (Dwight Henry) was having serious health problems and their home in a bathtub in a southern delta at the end of the world was being threatened by natural disasters and an army of prehistoric creatures called auroch. When her father’s health deteriorates, Hushpuppy goes in search of her long lost mother.

The film is centered around an amazing performance from the young Quvenzhané Wallis, the youngest actresses currently to have been nominated for Best Lead Actress Oscar at the Academy Awards. There is a force of nature feel to the young girl and she dominates the screen with every moment she appears. She plays brilliantly off Dwight Henry, who gives a tremendous supporting performance, with a complex character unlike any that I’ve seen before.

The blend of the fantastic and the realism of the world is another impressive feat that this movie pulled off. To be such a mixture of the two film types and to be so successful at it is a true compliment to the film’s director, Benh Zeitlin.

Not only did Quvenzhané Wallis receive an Academy Award nomination, but the film itself was nominated as Best Picture at the Oscars. It was recognized as an original, beautiful story that you just do not see evryday.

All of this was coming from the POV of Hushpuppy, so everything depended on the imagination of the young girl. Everything that was going on around her was adapted into the world that was created in her mind. Without the presence and power of Hushpuppy, this does not work nearly as well.

This was a surprisingly powerful and emotional experience and should be a film that you check out.

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