Thursday, March 31, 2016

Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)

Academy Awards, USA 2013

Best Motion Picture of the Year
Dan Janvey
Josh Penn
Michael Gottwald
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Quvenzhané Wallis
Best Achievement in Directing
Benh Zeitlin
Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay
Lucy Alibar
Benh Zeitlin

Fox Searchlight Pictures
Directed by Benh Zeitlin
My rating: 2.5 stars out of 4
(Blu-ray, 20th Century Fox)

Living in extreme poverty on an island off the coast of southeast Louisiana, a young girl and her father struggle to survive after a storm, and melting ice caps, flood their rural community. Their relationship is strained by his drinking and hot temper, from which she escapes by drawing and vivid daydreams of giant "beasts" which are released by the melting ice. In the film's best scene, she dances with a woman at a "catfish shack" whom she believes is her mother. Meanwhile, her father is hospitalized and she must face his impending death. This film contains some striking imagery and the girl's predicament is disconcerting. However, it depends too much on Louisiana stereotypes of a self-destructive, never-ending party lifestyle, making it difficult to empathize with the adults in the story.

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