Hushpuppy will be with me forever. This is an investment movie. I waited a few days to write about Beasts to confirm it. Yes, it sticks with you. Some tempo issues and less than desirable jittery, handheld camera work makes it a bit of a challenge at times, but it’s one of those films you’ll never forget.
Quvenzhane Wallis as Hushpuppy conveys childhood consciousness more effectively than I’ve seen and is easily in the top child performances I have ever witnessed. Don’t be surprised if we see her name up for best actress in a leading roll next year. Watching Beasts on the big screen is most likely the closest I’ll ever come to experiencing the day to day life of a 6 year-old girl living in utter squaller in a place called the Bathtub, Louisiana.
First time director Benh Zeitlin does a fantastic job at keeping what could have been an exceptionally dismal and depressing story (wait til you see her “classroom” and meet her “teacher”) light, inspiring and even uplifting, despite the bleak and at times hopeless terrain. Could’ve been so easy to keep the focus on the less than traditional relationship she has with her ill father, but thankfully what’s here is much more.
Watching this in the dark and on the big screen is the way to go here. It’s limited narration which means we never leave Hushpuppy’s presence and focus as well as mental submission will help. It’s in limited release as I write this, but the amazing performance of Wallis as Hushpuppy should allow it to spread.
I’m a slightly better person for having seen this little movie and love that Hushpuppy and her childhood experiences will live on in my conscious.
Should Watch 4 0f 5
Must Watch = 5 0f 5
Should Watch = 4 of 5
Could Watch = 3 of 5
Should Not Watch = 2 of 5
Do Not Watch = 1 of 5