|But they still make sure to wear matching clothes every day|
|What? You don't know an auroch when you see one?|
Beasts of the Southern Wild is the first major directorial effort from Benh Zeitlin, as well as the first major motion picture developed by any member of the Court 13 collective of filmmakers. As far as directorial debuts go, this is a pretty good one. Zeitlin captured a subculture in America that has rarely (if ever) been captured before. In a Google Earth world, it can sometimes be astounding to see what exists within the borders of the "civilized" world; in some ways, this movie feels like it is taking place in an anthropological nature preserve.
|Look, a porcupine house, in its natural environment!|
|It's like Mad Max: On Water|
|The difference between this and awesome: voice-over|
The big story with the acting in Beasts of the Southern Wild is Quvenzhané Wallis, and justifiably so. The movie focuses on her, and she carries it with ease. I do not typically hype child acting, but the overall affect of her performance is staggering here. From a strictly "acting" perspective, Wallis was pretty good. She emoted and seemed to do what the scenes required of her.
|Above: not really acting|
|Who's the man? I'M THE MAN!!!|
In may ways, Beasts of the Southern Wild is a sad bastard movie. It is designed to make you cry, and it probably will make you tear up. This culture appears to be living in a dump AND a 200-year time warp at the same time. Just making a documentary about these people and the pride with which they live their lives would have been heartbreaking. When you add in a small child narrator and a dad character with health problems, that sadness is a foregone conclusion.
|It's just too heavy for Superman to lift|
|No other film mastered the art of Farmstock Fones|
The only missteps this movie makes are fairly big ones. First and foremost, the foreshadowing of the aurochs never pays off. I get it. The aurochs symbolize fill in the blank. They are pointless and clumsy in the big scheme of things. They could have been completely omitted and affected the emotional and story arcs not at all. I also would have liked more time in that strip club, because that scene had much more potential than it got to display. In short, if the aurochs thing actually had a payoff, this movie might have been great. As it is, this is very good, with a few heavy-handed moments (the aurochs) that would have been better spent elsewhere (at the strip club). It is still very effective and worth seeing.
This is the song I had stuck in my head while reviewing this movie. I think it's pretty apt.