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'Beasts of the Southern Wild' is a Surprise Oscar Nominee

“There once was a Hushpuppy who lived with her daddy in the Bathtub.” Faced with her severely ill father and a natural disaster, Hushpuppy goes in search of her absent mother and makes discoveries about herself along the way.

This was such a unique and spirited interpretation of Hurricane Katrina and how it effected the people in southern Louisiana. I really enjoyed getting a story so closely related to what we know, but with parts where you have to dig a little further. This isn’t the normal retelling of Katrina, it’s a character based story of one girls experiences during the destruction of her world.

Quvenzhané Wallis gives a powerful performance of her character Hushpuppy, the young girl who must venture out on her own. She’s a stubborn, emotional and brave girl with a narrative voice equally as wise beyond her years as it is young, fresh, and naive. She’s a bright light throughout the film that grounds the events and gives focus to the audience. It isn’t always easy to portray such a sense of wonder to an adult audience but this film certainly tried and was aided by the honesty behind Wallis’ performance. Because of this, Wallis finds herself the youngest Best Actress nominee at the Oscars ever, at age nine.

Love It and Hate It:

My favourite thing was definitely the score. As mentioned above, we see Hushpuppy’s sense of wonder at certain things and this wouldn’t be possible without the wonderful work of Benh Zeitlin (also director/co-writer) and Dan Romer who created this piece of art. Check some of it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFFiaTOAWIc Soft and delicate yet also powerful, it’s the perfect accompaniment for Wallis’ character, Hushpuppy.

My hate it is more of a dislike for this movie. I found the cinematography frustrating in places. At points I really enjoyed it, such as showing certain character perspective, but I found myself getting annoyed at times when things went (albeit, intentionally) out of focus. I felt there was no reason for the changes in focus but they were there nonetheless. Perhaps because somebody decided the film needed more style.

What do you think? Do you think Quvenzhané Wallis and this movie deserved nominations in the Oscars?

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