Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012) - dir. Benh Zeitlin
Quvenzhane Wallis’ performance is one of the finest I’ve ever seen from a child actor. Zeitlin’s quirky pseudo-apocalyptic coming-of-age drama is excellent. It’s a great independent film. The set design is splendid. It will be a real shame if this film gets snubbed from the Oscar’s this year. It’s charming, and one of the year’s finest.
That being said, Zeitlin is clearly a young director. At 93 minutes the film drags. Certain scenes feel like they would have fit much nicer on the cutting room floor. Zeitlin was up to the task of directing a stark drama, that exists in the world of magical realism. But he was not up to directing an engaging feature length film. When it hits, it hits. But there’s just enough space between Hushpuppy’s excellent narrative to leave room to find aspects to critique.