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Beasts Of The Southern Wild 2012

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Benh Zeitlin co-writes and directs this Academy Award nominated fantasy drama about a six-year-old girl struggling to survive in the flooded bayous of Louisiana. Hushpuppy and her father, Wink (Dwight Henry) live in 'the Bathtub', a poverty-stricken, semi-feral swamp area outside the protection of the New Orleans levee system.

Starring:
Quvenzhané Wallis, Dwight Henry
Runtime:
1 hour, 33 minutes

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Customer Reviews

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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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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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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I watched this astonishing film on DVD and I was completely blown away by how brilliant and majestic it was. I missed it at the cinema when it first came out in 2012 and it was one of those films I wanted to see. And I wasn't disappointed in the slightest. The incredible central performance of Quvenzhane Wallis was hypnotising and full of character for one so young.

It tells of a young 6 year old girl named Hushpuppy who lives with her father Wink in a forgotten ramshackle town called The Bathtub on a small southern Louisiana island. Then when an environmental disaster nearly destroys her town and her defiant father becomes ill, Hushpuppy is forced to strike out and survive on her own to face the weathers' elements, prehistoric beasts that have awoken and her own destiny.

This film is fresh, it's original and it showcases a sensational and outstanding performance by Quvenzhane Wallis in the role of Hushpuppy, the girl who has to deal with so many complications in her young life, coping with a strong defiant father in Wink (Dwight Henry), losing her mother and having to cope with what disasters lie in store for her. In my mind, she deserved her Oscar nomination, being the youngest ever actress to be nominated. And I think that the other Oscar nominations it had where deserved also.

Although this originally came out in 2012, I think that this is one of the best films I've seen that was released in 2012. Totally enthralling throughout and an absolutely terrific piece of film-making. This reviewer was transfixed and delighted. Superb and astonishing.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
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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Format: DVD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( 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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