The Gist: A little girl living in the Louisiana bayou is faced with the need to grow up quickly because of her father’s ill health and alcoholism and the constant threat to their lives posed by the powerful and capricious weather.
While I usually reserve judgment whenever child actors are involved, Quvenzhané Wallis as the little Hushpuppy comes across as a fantastic actress. It will be interesting to see how her career evolves and where she will be 20 or 30 years from now. And while it might be a boon for her future work chances, I have the feeling that in a few years it will feel scary and intimidating to already have a Best Actress Academy Award to her name, not to mention the need of having to prove herself.
The screenplay is certainly very original, the acting good across the board, and even in the technical department the movie is quite well made.
The Bottom Line: While I appreciated the acting and the originality of the story, I was quite surprised that a movie like Beasts of the Southern Wild would be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. A little slow here and there and at times even esoteric, its pick left me even more puzzled than An Education’s did a couple years back. This is a very artistic- and independent-like movie, so it’s not for everybody.