Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Beasts of the Southern Wild


I watched Beasts of the Southern Wild last night. It was a fabulous, but disturbing film. To think that modern day human beings can live in such abject poverty boggles the mind a bit. I can see why the movie missed the best picture bid at the Oscars, though. It was a wonderful example of the art of film making, with some incredible cinematography, and hands down the greatest performance by a child actor I have ever seen in Quvenzhané Wallis' portrayal of Hush Puppie, but the plot was confusing, and the thematic representation of the aurochs did not work for me.

An aurochs is an extinct kind of ox from the middle ages (made somewhat famous by George Martin), not some kind of gigantic prehistoric wild boar. I realize that part was fantasy, and I'm not sure why it bothered me so much, but maybe my nerd flag was flying too high.

Anyway, in spite of a couple minor nitpicks that I only bring up because I can see why it missed best picture, it's otherwise a fabulous, moving film.

Has anyone seen it?

20 comments:

Summer Ross said...

Not yet. But want to. :)

Donna K. Weaver said...

i hadn't even heard of this one. I've been totally out of it this spring.

Dawn Ius said...

Not yet, but after this review, I'm interested.

Old Kitty said...

It came and went here in about a week!!! But I will definitely keep a look out for this film here on dvd!! Yay! take care
x

KatieO said...

Missed it in the theatre but loved the little actress on Oscar night so definitely want to. Thanks for the review!

~Sia McKye~ said...

"Otherwise it was it was a fabulous, moving film?" That makes me laugh. I've not been watching many movies lately. Hubs was mentioning we should go out on a movie/dinner date. I haven't a clue what to choose. I need to take a look at whats out there.

BTW, love your pic in the sidebar!

Sia McKye OVER COFFEE

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I'm embarrassed to admit it, but I like to be honest...I've never heard of it. Yes, I do live under a rock, but it's a pretty rock so don't worry.
I probably won't stick this at the top of my to-see list. When I watch things like that I want to choke UN members!I mean shouldn't the plight of the world's children be at the top of the to-do list? Um, can they take a peak into what's happening in Darfur? See? I'm unreasonable. Just best not to get me started.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Haven't seen it yet, but I do plan to watch it.

farawayeyes said...

Haven't seen it yet, but I really want to.

Want to see poverty. Take a look at the underside of the Caribbean - not what your average tourist sees.

Oscars - Of course it couldn't beat out a film that applauded Hollywood's involvement with the CIA in such a dramatic tale. I mean ARGO was a really good movie that I enjoyed, but when you consider the caliber of movie it was up against, it proves that the Oscars are nothing more than Hollywood giving themselves one big pat on the back and telling us how wonderful and involved they are.

OK, I'm done. Sorry about that.

Laura Stephenson said...

I haven't seen it, but I'd be annoyed by the aurochs, too! I remember killing them in Lord of the Rings Online, first to test my meddle, then for quests. The bulls were elite, which meant it was difficult to kill for one player the same level as it. :D

Melanie Schulz said...

I'm ashamed to say I haven't heard of this one.

Andrew Leon said...

The aurochs bothered me, too. I don't understand why they went that way with it.
The movie was interesting to say the least. My biggest issue with it was more about the presentation of it than the movie itself, because it actually was not related in any way to what the netflix blurb said it was about. It's like the guy that wrote that watched five minutes of the movie and wrote the blurb from that, and I hate that kind of thing. And, see, it wasn't even the fault of the movie, but it affected my viewing of the movie.
My next biggest issue with the movie is that, when you get to the end, you're kind of left with the question "what was that actually about?" Which really isn't clear and is, probably, why so many critics rave over it. Whenever you have a movie like that, rather than just say "I don't know what you were trying to say with that," critics feel compelled to say, "It was so deep. You just can't get it, because it was so deep." No, I didn't get it, because the message wasn't clear, or it was conflicting, or muddled, or whatever the specific case happens to be. So, while Beasts was good, I didn't think it was great.

And, you know, I also grew up in Louisiana, so that may affect my view of it in ways it doesn't affect other people.

Nancy Thompson said...

I've no interest in the story itself, but I'd see it for the girl's performance alone.

Elise Fallson said...

I haven't seen it, but I did watch the trailer. Now my daughter wants fireworks like the ones in the poster. (:

Li said...

I saw it with my boyfriend when it first came out. He hated it and left feeling very depressed. I loved it. While it depicted poverty, it also showed the fierce pride of the small community and its resilience in the face of disaster (both natural and manmade). I understood the aurochs to be sort of an element of magical realism; a child's rendering of catastrophe in animal form. And Hushpuppy's courage and acceptance of death as part of life is what made these creatures sort of stop and bow down to her. (That's just my humble opinion.) I'm a science geek so I've heard of aurochs - I believe that scientists considered trying to breed them by using DNA recovered from archeological remains and crossing/implanting an embryo in a modern day ox or cow.

Livia Peterson said...

I saw Beasts of the Southern Wild a few months ago and loved it. It has a very powerful and meaningful storyline, The performance by Quvenzhané Wallis is spectactular. I think it was one of the best films of 2012. :)

mshatch said...

Have not heard of the movie but I knew what aurochs were from doing research for my own epic fantasy (which maybe some day I'll finish...)

Jessica Bell said...

Haven't seen it, but it looks fascinating!

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

No, but it looks intriguing! I've just recently dipped my toe into the indie movie scene, but I'll have to add this to my list. :)

Mark Means said...

I've never heard of it, but it sounds interesting.