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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I see that I'm a little piece in a big, big universe. And that makes things right."
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...
Published on 23 Jan. 2013 by Sam Woodward

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not amazing.
Others have already gone over the story and I have to say from all I'd heard I was really looking forward to this.
Perhaps I was victim to too much hype but I felt the film didn't live up to my expectations.
Now that's not to knock the film, indeed I did like it.
The story is quite compelling and well acted, however I found it hard to really care deeply...
Published 9 months ago by Count Sorrow


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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I see that I'm a little piece in a big, big universe. And that makes things right.", 23 Jan. 2013
By 
Sam Woodward (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (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. But then I've always felt that you can set films in the most outlandish environments as long as you can hook the audience in with believable characters.

Beasts Of The Southern Wild is a unique work. It isn't always clear where it's going or what it's trying to say but the compelling performances make it utterly worthwhile.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Confused, confusing but hard to forget, 2 Nov. 2012
By 
Richard Leigh (London, England) - See all my reviews
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary ... But not one for the kids., 10 May 2013
By 
Karen Baxter (Wales UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (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
5.0 out of 5 stars A welcome respite from the usual cimematic formulas..., 31 Mar. 2014
By 
Long-Suffering Technology Consumer (Mid Atlantic, USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
"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).

The subject matter is serious and intense; tread carefully before exposing younger viewers to this movie.

But by all means, watch it. It's far afield from the usual offerings on the big screen, and will take you to surprising places at the end.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not amazing., 28 Aug. 2014
Others have already gone over the story and I have to say from all I'd heard I was really looking forward to this.
Perhaps I was victim to too much hype but I felt the film didn't live up to my expectations.
Now that's not to knock the film, indeed I did like it.
The story is quite compelling and well acted, however I found it hard to really care deeply enough about any of the characters to get that emotional attachment I was hoping for.

The Blu-Ray is excellent with a good quality of picture, really picking up the shadows and brightness very well.
And the sound! Exceptional use with very crisp and clear track and amazing use of the sub in all the right places to really give that cinema feeling.

All in all a good film (but not worthy of all the hype in my opinion) on an excellent quality Blu-Ray.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One to watch more than once., 13 May 2013
By 
Arkgirl (North Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The acting is compelling with a mix of 'fantasy' and reality that can become slightly disconnected and difficult to follow but also adds depth and colour to the storyline. Hushpuppy, played brilliantly by Quvenzhan Wallis, lives in 'Bathtub' in the Bayou and when the floods come she has to face a completely changing landscape with courage and determination. This is definitely an 'Arthouse' rather than mainstream movie and has an emphasis on sweeping vistas, gritty realism and sometimes 'hard to reconcile' dramatic sequences but the lead characters drew me in and I applaud the vision and direction that produced this film. It isn't perfect and there are certainly aspects where I questioned choices made but I was moved by it and want to watch again as I think it is a film where repeat watching will add to enjoyment.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Charming, delightful, confusing, profound, poignant, 21 Feb. 2013
By 
R. F. Stevens "richard23491" (Ickenham UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I was very pleased to receive an advance review copy from Vine of this surprisingly good little film. At first I thought I was not going to like it, but it grew on me and I found myself enjoying the sideways look at the fragile and fantastic world of a child and how she manages to cope with traumatic events. The Amazon blurb gives us quite a good feel for the film, and I think most of the critical acclaim seems to be well deserved.

The acting and photography were both brilliant, especially when one considers how few of them involved were professionals, and that the 'Bathtub' is a real place, and that these were real people in a very unconventional (to most of us) environment, and that it was made on a shoestring.

Not everyone will like this film, and quite a few will be bored stiff and give up too soon, but many others will love it for the amazing detail and insight into human character and relationships and their ability to rise above their problems. I think it will appeal more to women than men. Perhaps being a fond father of daughters helps one to appreciate it more.

The 'making of' was also interesting, and, having understood this, it adds another dimension to the very real qualities behind the film itself.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Almost un-watchable on big screen, 19 Mar. 2014
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Interesting story and good acting spoiled by jerky camera work. I can normally watch movies more than once, but not this one.
I am not a lover of the modern trend of hand held camera work as I normally view movies fairly close on a large projection screen.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful!, 26 Jan. 2015
By 
Wayne B (Cambridge UK) - See all my reviews
I watched this film with my 9 year old daughter and we both loved it!
Quvenzhané Wallis (currently in the lead role of Annie (2014)) shows the early talent that is clearly now driving her career.
This movie is not for everyone, but if you like more depth and meaning in a film, this dive into human emotion and expression might be for you.
Beasts Of The Southern Wild explores a deeply emotional connection between family, friends, what unites and divides us and ultimately what is home.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unparalleled magnificence, 25 Mar. 2015
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An utterly beautiful and riveting piece of cinema. Quvenzhané Wallis' performance is phenomenal, I was truly moved by the 8yr old who brought more subtlety and emotion to the character than most profesionally trained adult actors could achieve in their lifetime. If you're looking for an exciting story then I suggest you watch something else, but for a wonderful piece of film with a seamlessly perfect soundtrack, absolutely stunning shots and some amazing acting this is the one to watch.
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