The film “Beasts of the Southern Wild” certainly does not come unheralded: Camera d’Or at Cannes, Grand Jury at Sundance and four Oscar nominations – all of which are well-deserved for this intense and revelatory film. It is a jubilant celebration of youth and yet a painful voyage of destruction and devastating change for the principle character Hushpuppy. Quvenzhane Wallis was absolutely incredible as a young girl living in the squalor of and island called The Bathtub in the Louisiana bayou with her alcoholic father. From the shaky handy camera shots of the beginning to the fade out over the levy at the end, the film captivated me and never lost my attention or respect. It was quite amazing for a directorial debut for Benh Zeitlin.
The think that makes this story work is clearly the performance from Wallis. From the beginning of the film where we see her listening to the heartbeat of all her animals, we realize that there is a depth to Hushpuppy and an indomitable spirit that drives her. The tame boar of course serves as fodder for her dreams of the wild aurochs symbolizing the storm and her internal struggles. The absurd boat of her father consisting of the bed of a pickup truck is just one of the many sets and props that make the story seem so real and so alive. I don’t wish to spoil the film for anyone because it is definitely a gem that is worth seeing – perhaps the most human film of 2012 and probably the best acting performance despite the fact that the actress was only nine.
- Quvenzhané Wallis becomes youngest ever lead actress Oscar nominee (thegrio.com)
- Beasts of the Southern Wild Lands 4 Oscar Nominations Including Best Picture (wgno.com)
- Best Actress In A Leading Role Oscar Nominee Quvenzhane Wallis The Youngest Ever – Just Who Is She? (contactmusic.com)
- Celebration! “Beasts of The Southern Wild” Star Quvenzhané Wallis Is Youngest Best Actress Oscar Nominee Ever At 9 (madamenoire.com)