Movie review: ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’ succeeds in showing realistic side of fantasy

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Nominated for Best motion picture of the year, “Beasts of the Southern Wild.” (Fox Searchlight/MCT)

Nora Sanchez, online writer

This year a lesser known but very powerful film has made it onto the list of nine movies nominated for Best Picture at this year’s Academy Awards. “Beasts of the Southern Wild” follows a six year-old girl, Hushpuppy (Quvenzhané Wallis), through the flooding of her bayou hometown and her father’s fading health.

 The acting was spot on, even from then five year-old Wallis. This role gained Wallis an Oscar nomination making her the youngest person to ever be nominated. Dwight Henry plays Wink, the deranged and alcoholic father to Hushpuppy. He teaches her to be tough and take care of herself even while he’s on his inevitable deathbed. The townspeople of the swampland, affectionately called the “Bathtub,” act like a carefree family but also care for each other as they escape back to their home.

 The cinematography was just right. The shaky camera technique makes you feel like you are part of this impoverished community just trying to prove they could survive and still enjoy life more than you. The film-like aesthetic made it grimy and authentic. The fact that there was also a fantasy element to the film made it that much more enticing. The children were taught that as the icecaps melted, the animals frozen there from the ice age would be unfrozen and come to where they lived. The animals in question were aurochs, ancestors of cattle.

 I would definitely recommend seeing this film. It’s outlandish but also realistic. It’s emotional and the exceptional screenplay by Benh Zeitlin and Lucy Alibar is very well portrayed by a virtually unknown cast.

I give this movie five out of five stars because it was completely unique and like nothing I’ve ever seen before.

Visit the movie website at http://www.beastsofthesouthernwild.com/.