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The Beasts Of The Southern Wild

24 Aug

The Beasts Of The Southern Wild – directed by Benh Zeitlin. Drama. 93 minutes Color 2012.

★★★★★

The Story: A little girl and her father struggle for survival in a poor deadend village in the bayou.

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Quvenzhané Wallis is the 8 year old girl who plays the princess to the angry old king, played by Dwight Henry. In real life, he is the former owner of a bakery and she is a former seven year-old, neither of them having made a picture before. They are quite wonderful, and the adventures and occurrences of this film are wonderful too.

It takes place in a bayou which seems almost out in the ocean, and occupied by hard-drinking mostly merry fisherfolk who dine off the sea and live in shacks. The little girl has been abandoned by her mother, and her father disappears inexplicably from time to time. There is something wrong with him, almost a madness, and in fact, what we are actually seeing is King Lear, and one of the great versions of it to boot.

The people of the town of Bathtub know one another and care for one another, and those who survive the great hurricane pitch-in and make a life for themselves. They live in shanties, patched together and they are educated by one another in the ways of the whole world, though they never leave this one hamlet.

The little girl has visions of the melting of the ice caps, and the release of primordial aurochs which are church-sized horned pigs. Both are out to get her.

Her father is hard on her and her search for feminine nurture leads her and her kiddie cronies on a remarkable adventure across the waters. The story is plain as a fairy tale and as potent. It is perfectly told and edited. It is the picture of the year. You mustn’t miss it. You have never seen anything like it before, and you will understand it perfectly.

 
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Posted in ACTING STYLE: AMERICAN REALISTIC, Directed by Benh Zeitlin, Dwight Henry, FAMILY DRAMA, Quvenzhané Wallis

 
 
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