- Published on Monday, 30 July 2012 16:59
- Written by Martin D Goodkin
What is it about me that makes it impossible for me to walk out on a movie that is boring me to tears? Why is it that I am unable to fall asleep in a movie that makes me nod off for a second? And, why oh why, do I get suckered into seeing movies 3 or 4 times a years that has ‘ART MOVIE” marked all over it that are, usually, very disappointing?
“Beasts of the Southern Wild” won the top audience award at the Sundance film festival and the best debut award at the Cannes film festival and its young star 8 year old Quvenzhane Wallis has captured the heart of every critic with reviews that haven’t been seen for a child star since, let’s say, Drew Barrymore in “E.T”.
An independent film directed by Benh Zeitlin and co-written by him and Lucy Alibar shows its threadbare budget but they have opened it up tremendously from the play, originally written by Alibar. There is a lot of sloppy camera work but the area known as The Bathtub south of the New Orleans levees is shown in all the bad and good of nature.
The story, in simple terms, is how a motherless child, Hushpuppy (Wallis) is being taught, with tough love, a lot of love, by her father Wink (Dwight Henry) how to survive in a harsh world, only we see it all from Hushpuppy’s point of view. We also see the animals--wild boars or mythical beasts called aurochs?--she imagines but I didn’t care to contemplate what they symbolized and it didn’t seem to matter.
Quvenzhane Wallis is everything a child star should be and nothing that most are. She is not precocious or a brat and she has an extremely expressive face. If anyone else had played the role of Hushpuppy Dwight Henry would probably have walked away with the picture. He plays the role of a responsible father who has to prepare his beloved daughter for a hard life even if it means being cruel to her.
I am not sure if the volume of the sound track was too low, or just the way the actors spoke, but I wasn’t interested enough to say something to the manager and since no one else did let’s mark it up to having trouble in my right ear.
The problem with “Beasts of the Southern Wild” is that there are too many buts in the film.