Beasts of the Southern Wild is a movie I had heard about, and then promptly ignored. Eh, sounded like a foreign flick. One of the critics I follow raved on it, best actress, etc, a few months ago, and I just shrugged. I will get to it eventually. Maybe.
But then it went and got itself nominated, not ONLY for best actress, but for best film as well? Damn. Not to mention all the buzz about the main actress girl, the youngest to be nominated at 9. Pretty intense. I just think they have been afraid of nominating kids before. After all, they called Hailee Steinfeld a supporting actress in the movie True Grit, despite being the main character. Oh well, Academy is stupid. Just please don’t be a white guilt movie…
Well, right now it just looks like the Life Of Pi.
In the world, there is an island community that calls itself the Bathtub. Away from the rest of the world, they tend to keep their own traditions and way of thought, never once considering leaving their paradise. Heck, they have holidays all the time, and it is relaxing. But factories are on the horizon, and with the talk of levees and the map, it is clear that are just south of Louisiana.
Young Hushpuppy (Quvenshane Wallis) is a six year old girl, learning about the world from this new school thing and her bipolar dad, Wink (Dwight Henry). Sure he is an alcoholic who sometimes beats her in their strange half house, but he also can be really kind!
Hushpuppy learns of the ancient Aurochs that are frozen in the ice caps. According to her teacher, if the ice caps melt, the Aurochs will be unleashed to reign control of the land again, and only the strong can survive it. But if they melt, heck, the Bathtub will just become flooded anyways.
Speaking of that shit. Ice caps melt, aurochs on the move. Giant ass storm, flooding, death! Levee is destroyed! Flooding recedes, but salt water envelopes their land killing the fish and crops. Can they leave their homeland from the prodding of the health people coming to save them? Or would they prefer to rough it on their own in the face of certain doom?
Ring ring ring ring ring ring ring, chicken phone!
I have been told before that if I rate movies low because I don’t like them (aka, a reason to give it a low reason), I am an ass for not taking into account cinemetography, well shot scenes, lightning, music, all that. So I will take them into account this time. This movie was super fucking grainy. It also employed a shaky cam, maybe to imply poverty or whatever, but I didn’t like it. Especially not the grainyness.
I understand that this film has a lot of metaphors in it. Clearly it represents New Orleans, a specific way of life, and Katrina. It is about a young girls reality as she sees it, which includes some weird shit happening. Aurochs and other crazies. It is hard for her to cope, I get that. But I don’t really care.
Personally, I thought the acting from Dwight Henry was great. He toed the line between abuse and caring really well, playing off his bipolar nature. But personally, I don’t see what is the big deal from Miss Wallis. Her character acted like a 6-8 year old girl. She is 9. I don’t really call that acting, that just seems like it is being yourself, being a kid. I could probably act really well if someone needed a big guy who bitches about movies on the computer, because that is what I am. I’d make a statement about boycotting the Academy Awards if she won, but I know I wont. I will just shake my head, like I do every year, wondering how [insert random shitty/weird thing] won.
1 out of 4.