The whole universe depends on everything fitting together just right. If one piece busts, even the smallest piece, the entire universe will get busted.
– Hushpuppy “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
“Beasts of the Southern Wild” (directed by Benh Zeitlin) is a surprisingly poignant coming of age story.
Set in the “Bathtub” a corner of Louisiana created by playwright Lucy Alibar, “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” tells the story of Hushpuppy (Quvenzhané Wallis), a five-year-old girl, and her community preparing for an approaching storm.
In this realistically fantastical corner of Louisiana, a storm means change.
Hushpuppy is the spirit of human survival. She lives with her dad, Wink (Dwight Henry), although the two do have their own houses.
Her mother, by all appearances, abandoned the two shortly after Hushpuppy was born. Wink, who is dying, has raised her to be a tough girl who can fend for herself.
They live simply, but are by no means simple.
In the aftermath of the storm (the literal one), the town, the community bands together and survives. They do the same when a mandatory evacuation forces them out of their homes.
In the end, things aren’t perfect, but Hushpuppy stays strong.
Quvenzhané Wallis as Hushpuppy is phenomenal. Her age and innocence are an asset. She gives an honest performance that can only be accomplished by a gifted child performer.
Dwight Henry as Wink is astonishing. He and Wallis have an amazing chemistry. Henry may not be a trained professional, but he is definitely an actor.
It’s a sweet film with a good message, and a surprising cast of characters. It’s definitely worthy of its Oscar nod.
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