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The Beasts of the Southern Wild.

I should first thank my friend Kirsten for convincing me to finally go see this, so … thank you, Kirsten! This one definitely piqued my interest from the trailer and prior recommendations, and I am so glad I went. I wasn’t sure in terms of where I felt as the movie went on and where it was headed, but it ended up being perfect in that way – a slow-burner, but with a relatively short running time. The plot revolves around a young six year old girl who lives with her father in a forgotten bayou (which they call “The Bathtub”) off the coast of Louisiana, living in squalor, but who are enriched due to their experiences surviving without the help of others, and via their bond with their friends and fellow community members. Her challenge is not her poor surroundings, because to her and her father and others in their floating community, their freedom brings them great joy. Her challenge is wanting to be that vulnerable child, to not always be the tough kid she has admirably become due to her surroundings. She wants the comfort of her mothers arms, to be lifted, to be precious. In most films, it’s the other way around with these type stories; the person who is vulnerable wanting to grow stronger and become tougher so they can conquer the world. But this girl has conquered it already at six years old, and leaves no doubt that when even the worst travesty has occurred, she and people like her will be the last people standing because of how they were able to live in the most modest and toughest of conditions. She now just wants to be her parents little girl, even if just for a few minutes in all of her life. The build up of her character is subtle, we see what goes on in her daily life – events that would break down the average person (the destruction of her home and community, the break down of her father) – and we see that her pride, her imagination and her desire for companionship drives her above all else, and keeps her going without complaint. This film beautifully challenges what we as humans define as “poor”, as being “free”, what the true meaning of “home” is, and it all comes together wonderfully at it’s conclusion. The ending is just gorgeous, ethereal and beautifully shot, moving at a pace that draws you in and makes you feel like a kid again, the score is wonderful, and the lead performance of the beautiful young girl Quvenzhané Wallis is just beyond fantastic. On a scale of 100, I’d give this one 92 friendly aurochs.

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1 Comment so far

  1. Kirsten McLellan

    Thanks A……. getting mentioned in your blog is sort of up there with meeting Viggo (Mortensen) for me on a scale of awesome things that could happen. Thanks for that, and the amazing (as always) review :)

    Date: Mon, 13 Aug 2012 02:22:09 +0000
    To: kirsten_mclellan@hotmail.com

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