Beasts of the Southern Wild
Beasts of the Southern Wild ★★★★
What It’s About: A little girl named Hushpuppy (played with aplomb by Quvenzhané Wallis, who is a fantastic discovery) lives with her family in an isolated community called The Bathtub, which looks and feels like a post-apocalyptic warzone. But wouldn’t you know it— The Bathtub is located in the good ol’ USA, just outside of New Orleans. Hushpuppy tries to get along as best she can in this lost world and “speaking” to the nearby fauna in code in this astonishing tale of survival.
What We Like: With the possible exception of Terry Gilliam’s overlooked “Tideland,” this is one of the only films that has ever really captured the special optimism and spirit that only children possess. Based on a play by Lucy Alibar, “Beasts of the Southern Wild” occupies the space between inspiring and heartbreaking—and the result is just pure magic. Truly an astonishing achievement.
Opens at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor on Friday, July 27.