Review: ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’

Saturday, Feb. 2-

The Bathtub was a place of personal triumph of the race of men and women who did not want to be held back by the rules society placed upon them. This same Bathtub, set in Louisiana just outside the New Orleans levees, was also the very place where Quevenzhané Wallis’ character Hushpuppy learned to live the life her father once did.

Dwight Henry, who played Hushpuppy’s father and somewhat even caretaker, portrayed a single father struggling to raise his daughter in the death trap that he knew the Bathtub to be.

Wallis, who was also in her first acting performance, and Henry both played brilliant roles alongside a stunningly fantastic screenplay written by Lucy Alibar and Benh Zeitlin, who also happened to be the director of the movie. According the IMDb.com, the movie is based on the play “Juicy and Delicious” which was written by Alibar and co-written by Zeitlin.

Words cannot express how amazing of a performance Wallis had in this film. Not only was this her first time acting, but also according to IMDb.com, she had to lie about her age when trying out for the role of Hushpuppy because, at the age of five, she was considered too young to audition .

Zeitlin’s first feature length film, “Beasts of the Southern Wild”, is a truly wonderful story that draws many comparisons to John Hillcoat’s “The Road”. Both movies had very similar story lines, however, Zeitlin’s film had a far superior screenplay to Hillcoat’s adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s post-apocalyptic novel, “The Road”.

“Beast of the Southern Wild” is going to be well represented during this award season as it is nominated for four Oscars: Best Achievement in Directing (Zeitlin), Best Motion Picture, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (Wallis) and Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published (Alibar/Zeitlin).

The movie itself really deserves all the credit it is receiving. It is the best directorial debut film since 2009 when a cluster of directors jumped onto the scene (no pun intended) in their first films including: Marc Webb (“(500) Days of Summer”), Bob Peterson (“Up”), Oren Moverman (“The Messenger”), Duncan Jones (“Moon”), Ruben Fleischer (“Zombieland”), Tom Ford (“A Single Man”), Scott Cooper (“Crazy Heart”), Neill Blomkamp (“District 9”) and Drew Barrymore (“Whip It”).

 

-Ian Stratta

Staff Writer

The Prowl