Beasts of the Southern Wild

There is no question that Benh Zeitlin‘s Beasts of the Southern Wild was the darling of this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Before Team Rejects even hit the ground in Park City, the word was out on the film – this was the film to see this year, an absolute can’t-miss. Our own Kevin Kelly crowned it a Sundance stand-out and “utterly amazing” in his review (read it HERE). The film capitalized on all that good buzz with sold out screenings, the Dramatic Grand Jury Prize from the festival, and a swift pick-up from Fox Searchlight. But just when would the studio release this complicated and potentially hard to market independent film? Turns out, soon – very soon. Box Office Mojo reports that the film will have a limited release on June 29 of this year, a date that will pit it next to Take This Waltz, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, and Magic Mike. So, pretty perfect dating on that one. The film follows young Hushpuppy (the staggeringly talented young Quvenzhané Wallis) and her life in “the Bathtub,” an fictionalized outsider community on the edges of New Orleans. Beyond that, it’s a bit hard to explain – it’s a consuming and very creative film that’s really just kind of magical. Though I didn’t fall as head over heels in love with the film at Sundance as just about everyone else did, I still think it’s a bold and gorgeous production, and I am eager to see how Searchlight markets it and how audiences […]


One of the reasons that I love going to the Sundance Film Festival is that amidst the sea of angst-ridden romances, dramas that explore feelings that have long-since been forgotten about, and documentaries, you’ll sometimes find a gem that will change the way you see movies. Beasts of the Southern Wild was that film for me this year. At face value, it’s a difficult film to fully explain. A society that lives off the grid from the mainland of a country ignores the warnings that their lives are in danger should the nearby levee break. They live in ignorant bliss, reveling in their lives and calling their home “The Bathtub” in a light-hearted mocking of the fact that a wall of water could come crashing down and destroy them all.

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published: 12.17.2014
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