Beasts of the Southern Wild is film from 2012 directed by Benh Zeitlin. It was nominated for four Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Actress for Quvenzhané Wallis who was the youngest girl ever nominated at nine. This movie could be a little hard to follow at times due to the fact it was filtered through a six-year-old’s mind, but it also gives the movie a unique perspective.
The movie is about a young girl named Hushpuppy (Quvenzhané Wallis) that lives with her alcoholic and neglectful father Wink (Dwight Henry). They live in a Louisiana bayou community called The Bathtub on the other side of the levy. She and her father live off the land and the water, and enjoy the wild life of their community, but it all changes when hurricane Katrina hits, and they have to survive in the flood waters, and the Aurochs (Pig Beasts) in her mind.
This movie is pretty much just about Hushpuppy and Wink, so without the stellar performances of Henry and Wallis this movie would have fallen apart. Wallis in particular is great in this film especially since she was only six at the time. Henry in his first major film role does his job extremely well, and it is a shame he didn’t get a nomination also.
Behn Zeitlin shot this movie completely on 16mm film, so it gives the whole movie a grainy and surrealistic look, and it is a good change of pace from the clarity of today’s HD Digital cameras. It is good see a filmmaker go back to the basics of film making once and a while.
I like this movie a lot, and it is good to see something different every now and again. Wallis just got selected to be the new Annie, so I am sure we will see much more of this delightful young actress in the future.