Thursday, 3 January 2013

Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012) - ★★★★★

Director: Benh Zeitlin
Writers: Lucy Alibar (screenplay), Benh Zeitlin (screenplay), Based on the stage play 'Juicy and Delicious' by Lucy Alibar
Stars: Quvenzhane Wallis, Dwight Henry, Gina Montana

This is the best film of 2012. It is the most interesting and beautiful movie I've seen in a long time, with some real class acting and cinematography. The use of symbolism is both clever and extraordinary. Dan Romer's musical score was brilliant, the story was heart-warming, and it brings you right into the world of 'The Southern Wild.' I cannot praise this film enough.

Hushpuppy (Quvenzhane Wallis), an adventurous six-year-old girl, lives with her father, Wink (Dwight Henry), in 'the Bathtub;' a waterside southern community at the edge of the US. The world as she knows it is coming apart at the seams with her father contracting a strange illness and Global Warming causing the flood waters to rise and destroy the community she lives in. With the temperature rising and the ice caps melting, an army of prehistoric creatures called aurochs are "unleashed" upon the earth after becoming unfrozen. With the waters rising, her father's health deteriorating and the aurochs coming, Hushpuppy must adapt to the changing world around her.

Hushpuppy was taught that life was about the food chain, where big things eat smaller things. In her world the waters are eating her community, an illness is eating her father and the aurochs are going to eat her. The auroch's in this film were a perfect use of symbolism. Hushpuppy saw herself as a morsel of food that is going to be consumed by a larger force, the auroch's. Over the course of the film, her view evolves into a more enlightened, complete view of nature as a flowing system, something in which everything has its place and everything plays its part. It's her coming to peace with nature, and life itself. It truly is something remarkable.

There was not one wrong step with the performances throughout this film. Everything about the acting was perfect. Quvenzhane Wallis gave a real stellar performance, expressing the innocence and imagination of a child better than I've ever seen a child actor do. Dwight Henry was just as good as the father, who is sometimes abusive, and othertimes a great teacher. Both are Oscar worthy performances. The fact that Alan Arkin was nominated for Argo and Dwight Henry didn't even get a nomination just goes to show what a joke the Oscars are anyway. 

I believe that Beasts of the Southern Wild is a perfect film. I cannot fault it. I was thrilled from start to finished and emotionally involved in ever way. I felt elated after watching it. Words cannot describe how much I love this film.

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