Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Beasts of the Southern Wild


It’s being touted as an Oscar contender, though it probably doesn’t have much chance of winning. We were quite impressed. It’s part fantasy, in the mind of a 6-year-old girl named Hushpuppy, who lives in a group of rugged individualists in a place called the Bathtub, on the wrong side of the levees. This place is several levels below a shanty town; it’s pretty much a dump. I mean, it looks like Katrina hit before the big storm at the beginning, and just gets worse when the water rises. Her father is a drunk and probably psychotic, but not really evil. It’s been accused of glorifying poverty, but I don’t see it. These people want to live this way, and I say, let them. It was shot on a small budget in some of the places Katrina destroyed and no one bothered to rebuild, using local people. The girl who plays Hushpuppy has a name I’ll never attempt to pronounce (Quvenzhané Wallis) and she’s phenomenal, as is her father, Dwight Henry, who isn’t even an actor but ran a bakery across the street from where they were casting. This is one of those movies that’s not like anything you’ve seen before. If you value that, see this one.