Beasts of the Southern Wild 2012

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(115) IMDb 7.3/10
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Hushpuppy, an intrepid six-year-old girl, lives with her father, Wink, in "the Bathtub," a southern Delta community at the edge of the world. Wink's tough love prepares her for the unraveling of the universe; for a time when he's no longer there to protect her. When Wink contracts a mysterious illness, nature flies out of whack-temperatures rise, and the ice caps melt, unleashing an army of prehistoric creatures called aurochs. With the waters rising, the aurochs coming, and Wink's health fading, Hushpuppy goes in search of her lost mother.

Starring:
Levy Easterly, Lowell Landes
Rental Formats:
DVD, Blu-ray

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_12_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 33 minutes
Starring Levy Easterly, Lowell Landes, Pamela Harper, Dwight Henry, Quvenzhané Wallis
Director Benh Zeitlin
Genres Drama, Fantasy, Science Fiction
Studio ELEVATION SALES
Rental release 11 February 2013
Main languages English
Discs
  • Feature ages_12_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 33 minutes
Starring Levy Easterly, Lowell Landes, Pamela Harper, Dwight Henry, Quvenzhané Wallis
Director Benh Zeitlin
Genres Drama, Fantasy, Science Fiction
Studio ELEVATION SALES
Rental release 11 February 2013
Main languages English

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Sam Woodward TOP 500 REVIEWER on 23 Jan. 2013
Format: DVD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Beasts of the Southern Wild is a unique parable on growing up. 6 year-old Hushpuppy virtually looks after herself amidst the crushing poverty of a Louisiana Bayou called Bathtub. Her dysfunctional father, Wink, is a drinker with serious health problems & her mother has "gone" - seemingly dead but given that it's from the perspective of a 6 year-old, it's somewhat ambiguous. When a major storm floods the appropriately named Bathtub, she is forced to fight for survival & seek her place in the world. In her imagination, the danger takes the form of Aurochs - ancient creatures who the closest thing she has to a teacher tells her died out because they were stupid. Will Hushpuppy & her community fare any better?

I was concerned this would be one of those American films which substitute genuine emotion for lashings of sentimentality but thankfully this was not the case. A lot of its impact is due to the incredible performance of 6 year-old Quvenzhané Wallis. She has an astonishing ability to simultaneously convey strength & vulnerability which is beyond most adult actors. The relationship between her & Dwight Henry, who plays her father, is amazing to watch. Another first-time actor, Henry had no ambitions in that area until encouraged by casting agents whose offices were opposite the bakery he worked in. But he was perfect for the role because, in his words, he "was in Hurricane Katrina in neck-high water" & thus "brought a passion to the part that an outside actor who had never seen a storm or been in a flood or faced losing everything couldn't have". So despite the OTT nature of the approaching semi-mythical creatures, this film feels incredibly real.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Richard Leigh on 2 Nov. 2012
Format: DVD
I agree with all the negative comments by the other reviewers, but I must add that there are so many excellent aspects that you must see the film for yourself. The episode of the aurochs DOES seem a bit much, but it's still a very powerful scene. The brothel scene IS a bit odd, but also very moving ( an instant where you think of a mother and her child). There are aspects of the plot which don't convince me at all - as if they are there to serve a pre-existent agenda which was not concerned with being convincing. Perhaps it's best to see the film, not as a failed attempt at realism, but as magic realism. Remember: the central character is a very young child whose life has been unsettled (understatement of the year) and whose view of the workd is partly coloured by what she has learned, or thinks she has learned. As you can tell, I'm trying to persuade myself as well as you. Visually, alone, the film's essential viewing. I remember the first time I saw Paradjanov's "Colour of Pomegranates" - coming out of the cinema utterly baffled, but also utterly overwhelmed. As time passes, that film makes more sense (in its own way)and is, I think, a masterpiece. Maybe I'll end up feeling the same about "Beasts". You must watch it, simply because there is nothing like it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Karen Baxter TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 10 May 2013
Format: DVD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Benh Zeitlin's extraordinary film "Beasts of the Southern Wild" is by far the most poignant film I have seen recently. Part reality and part fantasy, it's based at the time of the Katrina Hurricane and tells the story of a hard drinking man called Wink and his six year old daughter 'Hushpuppy', who are trying to survive in an impoverished community deep in the most southern part of the Louisiana bayou locally known as the 'Bathtub'.

Wink is an unwell man, suffering with some kind of blood disorder and also perhaps nursing a broken heart as 'Hushpuppy's' mother left a long time ago. Wink tries to help get people to safety as the waters rage and consume, forced to rise by a levee wall holding back the water from a more affluent part of the area.

Hushpuppy soon realizes that things are not going well and as her father's health deteriorates and the world she knows becomes more and more damaged, Hushpuppy begins to imagine her community is being ravaged by some mythical creatures of the past.

The acting by Quvenzhané Wallis who plays 'Hushpuppy' is absolutely outstanding for one so young.

The film is disturbing and delightful at the same time and the imagery magnificent, it's as mystical as it is disturbing but makes such compelling viewing that the as the credits roll by, you are left with imprints in your mind for quite a long time after.

Myself and my husband absolutely loved this film but our 11 year old son, found the film much too depressing for him and said that other children probably wouldn't appreciate the storytelling ... and we have to agree.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Long-Suffering Technology Consumer TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 31 Mar. 2014
Format: DVD
"Beasts of the Southern Wild" opens with a landscape of hardscrabble poverty that could be many places (I was totally unfamiliar with the plot, and thought perhaps it was set in Africa). Gradually the story is developed, centered on the lives of six-year old Hushpuppy, the introspective and often isolated daughter of Wink. They live on what most would consider the wrong side of a Louisiana levee, in an isolated bayou community known as "The Bathtub".

Wink and Hushpuppy are both struggling with abandonment (Hushpuppy's mom left the family under circumstances never fully explained, but almost certainly tied to Wink's drinking), and Wink also suffers from other maladies. His drinking (and that of many of The Bathtub's adults that are his peers) is evident from the beginning. It's also clear that he has other medical issues. Eventually, after a hurricane has come and gone and profoundly disrupted The Bathtub's way of life, Wink has to tell Hushpuppy about the leukemia that is killing him.

Throughout this movie, Hushpuppy is influenced by other adults, some that come and go and some that stay: the Bathtub's regulars, the women who populate a floating catfish restaurant and nightclub, the folk healer who teaches her and other kids some of the hard truths about the world ("we are all meat..."). She is also aligned with the natural world around her, the rhythms of rural livestock, and their eventual role in placing food on the table.

The beasts of the title are aurochs, symbolic of fear and loss that appear in Hushpuppy's visions of the world. And make no mistake about it: it is a world that is wet and dirty, with adults streaked with violence, devoid of true warmth or connection ("I can count the number of times I've been picked up" she says at one point).
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