© 2020 CBS Interactive Inc. All rights reserved. The endangered swampland dwellers are supposed to be an indigenous pastoral community threatened by eco-unfriendly oil refineries. Beasts of the Southern Wild is one of the year's best films. 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In talking about the film, a feat of magical realism about a young girl coping with a devastating flood and an ailing, degenerate father in Southern Louisiana, critics have been as likely to comment on the astounding production of the film as they are its actual content. A terrible movie so boring and out of plot.Also clumsy at very best.This movie insulting the black people by indicating them as scavengers. Do not miss this performance, or this quietly astonishing, life-affirming masterpiece. If that constitutes exploitation, then it's a crime which all works of art should aspire to commit. A feisty "dandelion haired" 6 year old Black girl struggling against the destructive power of a consumer power oriented real world. If that constitutes exploitation, then it's a crime which all works of art should aspire to commit. The movie is small, local, and idiosyncratic. The line between real and fantasy is blurred in this movie, but it appears to show the girl and her child friends, eating shrimp and crabs thrown onto the floor as they grovel in the spent shellfish shells. And here's the surprise: the grinding Great Recession may never offer up a movie as happy, or as inspired by poetry and dream, as this one. Read Next: Arnold Schwarzenegger in ‘Fantastic’ Condition Following Heart Surgery, Box Office: ‘Lego Movie’ Holding in First Place with $33 Million Three-Peat Weekend, Box Office: ‘Lego Movie’ Seeing Great Hold While ‘Robocop’ Malfunctions, Box Office: ‘Lego’ Building Toward $60 Million-Plus Bow. Then again, it's also a thing of beauty and originality - and for that, sustained huzzahs are in order. Beasts of the Southern Wild is shot through the eyes of a six year old. Too often, she and her peers are presented as curios to be exhibited rather than as fully realized -- if resolutely un-mythic -- human beings. A brave and inspired antidote to time-wasting mainstream movies, it is unlike anything you've seen before or will likely ever see again. But even with the great good efforts of Wallis, the results, to some of us, betray a distrustworthy slickness reminiscent of a British Petroleum oil spill clean-up commercial. Buoyed by her childish optimism and extraordinary imagination, she believes that the natural world is in balance with the universe until a fierce storm changes her reality. Through her journey, she learns, from her friends, family, and nature, how to take care of herself, and eventually become "King of the Bathtub." Winds up feeling like a form of emotional tourism. Beasts of the Southern Wild is not only a wonderful film, but a surprisingly uplifting experience as a whole. Even Hushpuppy's name suggests an author more interested in the folk- and foodways of a culture-with-a-capital-C than the people who comprise it. “Some of the magical realism imagery may seem too literal, too obvious, and may not work for everyone,” Lemire noted. The reviews I read were glowing: a reaffirmation of the Black family. Buoyed by her childish optimism and extraordinary imagination, she believes that the natural world is in balance with the universe until a fierce storm changes her reality. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. Notable Video Game Releases: New and Upcoming, What to Watch Now on HBO Max and the HBO App. Director Benh Zeitlin and his co-writer Lucy Alibar, a playwright whose "Juicy and Delicious" was the inspiration, have created characters that are wondrously indelible, distinctive of voice and set them inside a story that will unleash a devastating hurricane, and a flood of emotions, before it is done. Our main character, Hushpuppy, the 6-year old daughter of an alcoholic (and possibly leukemia affected) aggressive father, embarks on an imaginary adventure as a flood takes over her region of Louisiana, known as The Bathtub. In Benh Zeitlin and Lucy Alibar’s Beasts of the Southern Wild, a six-year-old girl named Hushpuppy — tiny and titanic, victim and invincible, a beast but more so a woman — has to figure how to tell her father she’ll be all right.She’s physically powerless; her biceps (we know because she flexes for him anyway) are about as thick as marshgrass. The best reason to wade into this (let's be honest) challenging but hugely rewarding film is Quvenzhané Wallis. Best of 2018: Film Awards and Nominations, Music title data, credits, and images provided by, Movie title data, credits, and poster art provided by. The story of a "true loving community". These Clocks Add ‘Sunlight’ to Help You Wake Up More Naturally, Ruff Cuts: Inside the Booming Cosmetic Surgery Industry for Designer Dogs, Smaller Conferences Ready for Basketball With Limited Testing Resources, Hit Your Target Every Time With These Accurate Crossbows. Magical realism is far more acceptable and preferable to an audience than what could arguably be termed child cruelty. Our main character, Hushpuppy, the 6-year old daughter of an alcoholic (and possibly leukemia affected) aggressive father, embarks on an imaginary adventure as a flood takes over her. A tale of wonder. While Phillips himself is part of the latter camp, Benh Zeitlin’s debut feature clearly has plenty of backers. Beasts of the Southern Wild is shot through the eyes of a six year old. It's very much an art piece, to be sure, but it feels like a genuine one that, while meditated, speaks fluently and truly for the place, people and culture it so indelibly depicts.