ACADEMY AWARD NOMINATIONS:
- Best Picture
- Best Actress – Quvenzhané Wallis
- Best Director – Benh Zeitlin
- Best Adapted Screenplay – Lucy Alibar and Benh Zeitlin
This film was pretty good. I definitely didn’t love it as much as I originally thought I would but I can see why it’s up for Best Picture. I thought it was shot very well and I really enjoyed the scenery, even though I guess it was pretty depressing if you thought about it too much.
I have to say though, what I liked the most about this film was the score. It’s crazy to me that it wasn’t nominated for that. I feel like it earns that the most. I also really liked the magical element of the film, the giant boars. The way it was filmed really reminded me of parts of Time Bandits, a movie I know Elizabeth hates but in my mind truly is something special. I kind of wish the whole part with the boars was a short film on its own (with a little more story).
It will be interesting how this does tomorrow. I really don’t think it will win anything but I would like to see some of the actors out of character and in real life. If nothing else this film showed me what Louisiana is truly like….right?
Well so I’m not generally into movies with a precocious child as the main character and/or narrator or movies that portray Louisiana as some kind of magical place, all qualities that Beasts of the Southern Wild has.
To clarify, I was born and raised in New Orleans until Katrina, when I was forced to move to Illinois with my mom and sister. It’s a complicated situation, but made easier for me given the fact that I always hated New Orleans. I hated feeling scared all of the time because of the crime, I hated how dirty it was, I hated how drunk everyone seemed all the time, I hated all the drug use in my high school, I hated the crowds at Mardi Gras. The food is amazing, of course. But for the most part, I left Louisiana and never looked back. Particularly in a post-Katrina environment, film and television seems to do nothing but write valentines to how magical New Orleans or Louisiana seems to be, and it drives me crazy because I find it hard to see it as anything but a dangerous place I don’t have much of a desire to go back to.
So, I didn’t find the landscape or characters of Beasts of the Southern Wild to be magical or particularly special or compelling. I feel kind of cold saying that, considering the main character, Hushpuppy, was played by Quvenzhané Wallis, who is 9 and was 5 when she first auditioned for the role. But she did a fine job in terms of acting, I just wasn’t that interested in watching what I considered to be the tragic relationship with her sick, alcoholic, abusive, kind of crazy father (Dwight Henry). I also wasn’t that interested in watching people too stubborn to see the obvious and refused to accept honest help.
I know these are not popular opinions, especially from people from Louisiana. And though I thought the story was original, the acting was good, and the music was amazing, it just really didn’t do much for me.